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‘Whatever it takes’: Hospitals get creative in hiring nurses amid a national shortage

It’s hard to find a nurse who’ll move to West Virginia.

That’s what Doug Mitchell realized after becoming the chief nursing officer of WVU Medicine in late 2015. Early on, he had to hire 200 nurses to staff the nonprofit health system’s new $200 million expansion of its Heart and Vascular Institute. Traditional incentives — signing bonuses, overtime pay, flex scheduling — were all on offer. But they weren’t cutting it.

“Morgantown is a delightful place, but a lot of times, when people outside the state think about West Virginia, there’s a negative connotation,” Mitchell said. So WVU Medicine tried an

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