Amid another COVID wave, rural nurses face severe staffing challenges

a nurse layers PPE in a hospital
North Memorial Health Hospital critical care nurse Kayla Lynch wears a protective gown before entering the room of a COVID-19 patient in December 2020 in Robbinsdale, Minn. As the omicron variant continues to spread rapidly throughout Minnesota, health care providers are swamped.
Aaron Lavinsky | Star Tribune via AP 2020

The omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread rapidly throughout Minnesota, and health care providers are swamped. That includes Sanford Health, which operates facilities across the state of Minnesota, from Bemidji to Thief River Falls down to Windom and Luverne. The health care system employs more than 18,000 nurses across four states.

Sanford has been dealing with an unprecedented number of absences during the latest wave of the pandemic, with nurses bearing the brunt of the staffing challenges.

Erica DeBoer, chief nursing officer for Sanford Health, joined host Cathy Wurzer with the latest on the situation.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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