Help Wanted: Nurses Needed in Washington Hospitals

Help Wanted: Nurses Needed in Washington Hospitals

Anne Pasicaran walks her son Riley to preschool at Sunnyside Christian School. Pasicaran, a registered nurse, is one of five nurses from the Phillipines recruited to work at Sunnyside Community Hospital. Hiring nurses from overseas is one way hospitals tr

Ross Courtney / Yakima Herald-Republic

January 21, 2009

SUNNYSIDE — It’s been seven years since Anne Pasicaran came to Sunnyside Community Hospital from the Philippines to help stem the nursing shortage.

She’s still here.

The registered nurse owns a big home on Sunnyside’s South Hill with her husband, Roy, an engineer. They have a son, Riley, who attends preschool. She and her husband became U.S. citizens in May.

“I think of here as home,” said Pasicaran, 31.

Today, she is one of five Filipina nurses at Sunnyside Community, helping to address a nursing shortage that’s getting worse.

Nurses are recruited from overseas. Local colleges crank out graduates, and hospitals even coax their own housekeepers to study nursing. But the shortage continues to plague hospitals here and elsewhere across the country.

Hospitals in Kittitas, Yakima and Klickitat counties need 98 registered nurses, according to a November report by the Health Workforce Institute in Seattle. That does not include clinics, school districts, jails and other places that hire nurses.

It’s the same number that was needed in 2004, even though some local nursing schools have doubled their enrollment and faculty since then.

Area hospitals pay starting hourly wages between $23 and $27 for registered nurses.

Most nurses are registered nurses, the largest single job description of the health care industry.

Meanwhile, the statewide vacancy rate rose from 6.2 to 8.7 percent between 2004 and last year, the institute reported.

It’s only going to grow worse. As the population ages, more people will seek more medical care while more nurses retire. The average age of registered nurses in the state is 48.

By 2020, the state will need 60,000 registered nurses but will have 30,000 to 40,000, according to a 2006 report by the Center for Health Workforce Studies of the University of Washington.

“We’re going to be as bad or worse off if we just do what we’re doing right now,” said Rhonda Taylor, the nursing program coordinator at Yakima Valley Community College.

The industry is trying every trick in the book, including looking overseas.

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    about 6 years ago


    I am a Certified Nursing Assistant/ Licened Practical Nurse with atleast six years experience in this field. I have been trying to migrate to the USA and to continue with my career as a nurse and also work with nurses in hospital or even homes to improve the nursing community all to noavail. Can I be hired or even get a scholarship. I am a Guyanese and would really be grateful if I could get some help

  • Our_pics9_max50


    about 6 years ago


    I am a Nigerian trained registered nurse planning to sit for the cgfns this year .can any body link me with hospitals looking for nurses to hire or will all of them require nclex.?

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    about 6 years ago


    Am a Kenyan Registered Nurse, willingto work in washington, I do request if i can be offered a job to work as i study to take up the exams you need us to do lto get the licensure.If only this would be made easier for Kenyan nurses, we would help in sorting your shortage problems since we have many traiined nurses who are jobless.Please help us to help you.

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    about 6 years ago


    "the US government has to intervene this problem before it gets worst. Hiring foreign nurses is still the best thing to overcome such inadequacy which may led to further damage if not prompted and being filled....let not the children as we do believe the hope of our fatherland die just because of ordinary lower resp.tract infection and no available nurse to take care of them!!! People of America,let's ask our dear President Obama to prioritize this problem!"

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    Account Removed

    about 6 years ago

    Forgivable nursing loans are an excellent idea, or community health service in exchange for repayment.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 6 years ago


    Iam a Kenyan Enrolled community health nurse. I have been trying to apply for jobs in the USA but in vain. Ho wcan you get me employed in one of those hospitals or counties that have nursing shortages? Thanks

  • Michelle_l_wedding_pic_max50


    about 6 years ago


    In my opinion, there are a lot of Nursing student who are working full time and going to school about a forgivable loan so we can go to school full time and finish faster???

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