24 Apr 2007

American Samoa recruits nurses overseas to fill critical shortages

1:47 pm on 24 April 2007

American Samoa's LBJ Hospital is recruiting nurses from the mainland to fill critically needed positions in the operating room and labour and delivery wards

The hospital's CEO, Kirk Gray, says the nurses are only being hired for a limited time and for specialized areas where there's a shortage of local nurses.

The CEO said the hospital is also trying to source nurses from the Philippines and other countries as well as working to increase enrolments in the nursing program at the American Samoa Community College.

The hiring has been criticized by senior nurses at the hospital who say this comes at a time when the hospital management has cut down overtime of local nurses.

One nursing supervisor who did not wish to be named said they have been told that overtime work is being restricted because of budgetary constraints yet the hospital has money to recruit nurses from off-island.