Nurses needed: Profession leading South Carolina in job postings across state


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – There’s a major need for nurses in South Carolina. According to data obtained by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, there are currently more than 8,000 job postings for registered nurses in South Carolina, making it the profession with the most openings in the state.

Bailey Philbeck isn’t taking a summer break from her studies. She’s working towards becoming a nurse at USC Upstate.

“It’s something where you’re really able to help people and take care of people,” said USC Upstate Student, Bailey Philbeck.

She feels confident in her career path. That’s not only because of her passion but also, there are a lot of job openings.

“At this moment in time, we have more job postings than we had in almost a decade,” said Brian Nottingham with South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce.

Brian Nottingham with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce told 7 News, healthcare is leading that data. He said there are thousands of job postings for registered nurses in the state right now.

He believes that need though, could be even higher than what the postings show.

“We provide the job postings so perhaps, a hospital could be hiring 50 nurses, or 10 or five, it’s one posting,” Nottingham told us.

Dr. Shirleatha Lee oversees the nursing program at USC Upstate. She has been a nurse herself for close to two decades. During that time, she has been on the frontline of this nurse shortage.

“When you look at USC Upstate in general, this nursing program has been around for over 50 years and it was started on the premise, there was a nursing shortage,” said the Dean of Mary Black School of Nursing at USC Upstate, Dr. Shirleatha Lee.

Even though she told 7 News, the pandemic has contributed to that need, she’s starting to see a rise in interest in the field.

“People have an instinctual want and desire to help other people and nursing is able to provide that for them. People want to be a part of the solution,” Dr. Lee explained.

That’s the case for Philbeck.

“Just stay level-headed and you can do anything you put your mind to,” said Philbeck.

Come 2024, she hopes to snag one of those open positions.

Some healthcare systems are offering incentives for new hires. At Bon Secours, they currently have 35 RN openings. They offer both sign-on bonuses as well as referral bonuses to try and help with recruiting new hires.

Prisma is also offering similar incentives. You can find a statement from a spokesperson there about their recruiting efforts to fill the gap:

“The national nursing shortage is unfortunately a longstanding shortage affecting every state and not just South Carolina. And South Carolina leads the nation in the fewest nurses per 1000 people. This was certainly exacerbated by COVID-19, as many nurses have been attracted to larger metropolitan areas where the pandemic hit extremely hard and the pay is lucrative for travel nurses. 

Prisma Health is aggressively recruiting to narrow our staffing gaps. We are offering extra shift incentives as well as sign-on and referral bonuses. We have an all-hands-on-deck approach right now, where our nurse leaders, our talent acquisition partners, human resources and marketing teams are collaborating to show people that South Carolina is a wonderful state to live and work in and that Prisma Health is a fantastic organization. 

We are taking a dual approach to recruiting. The quickest way to fill interim gaps is to work with agencies who place traveler nurses. At the same time, we have had virtual hiring fairs and will soon return to in-person recruitment fairs so nurses can come in to meet our team members and see our facilities. We are also exploring recruitment trips to showcase what Prisma Health has to offer.” said Carolyn Swinton, Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer, Prisma Health.

Here’s a link to some of those job postings across the state:

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