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New Fort Mill hospital looking to recruit nurses as health care industry faces shortages

Nationwide, nursing shortages are plaguing the healthcare system. Piedmont Medical Center now has to compete with other area hospital systems.

FORT MILL, S.C. — Piedmont Medical Center is on track to open its new hospital in Fort Mill this fall and the company is looking to hire staff members to fill the new facility. 

Piedmont Medical Center Fort Mill, which has been in the works for over a decade, is located at the intersection of South Carolina Highway 160 and U.S. 21. Medical equipment is in place and rooms are almost ready to serve a community that, until now, has been forced to travel to Charlotte or Rock Hill for care. 

“The population has grown significantly both during COVID and beforehand and we’re really excited to open the hospital,” Chris Mitchell, the hospital's CEO, said.

But the number of skilled bedside nurses in the state is shrinking, leaving every hospital fighting to fill open positions. Officials at Piedmont Medical Center know they’ll have to be competitive as they actively recruit workers. They’ve held several hiring events and are currently offering signing bonuses up to $20,000.

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“Our focus is not just meeting the financial needs and what the market is demanding, but also meeting the needs of the individual people who will work in the building and what that means to them when they show up every day, the team and culture,” Tammy Moore, the chief nursing officer at Piedmont Medical Center Fort Mill said.

On top of that, there are several other hospitals being built in the Charlotte area, including a new Atrium hospital in Cornelius, CaroMont's new Belmont hospital and a Novant hospital in Ballantyne

Credit: WCNC Charlotte

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill found North Carolina nursing programs produce less than two-thirds of the nurses needed to staff the state’s hospitals. Leaders with the North Carolina Nurses Association believe building up that pipeline is dependent on the educators training tomorrow's nurses.

“I can make twice as much as a nurse taking care of patients as I can in a teaching role," Dr. Dennis Taylor said. "So, until we get that pay discrepancy and that compensation issue addressed, it’s going to be really hard, I think, for us to recruit folks in."

As the final touches are put on the new hospital in Fort Mill, leaders are hopeful the new building, equipment and opportunity will be appealing.

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“It’s essentially a blank slate and you get to write what that looks like,” Moore said. “It’s daunting in some ways but it’s very exciting in other ways.”

The next hiring event is at the hospital on July 28 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hospital officials said they’ll be making offers on the spot.

The hospital is on track to open on Sept. 7.

Contact Chloe Leshner at cleshner@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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