Two dozen public high school students are taking a major step toward becoming nurses who may be able to fill a desperate need at the local hospital.
Lillian Posadas, GMH assistant administrator of Nursing Services, said despite recruiting efforts, the hospital is woefully short in nursing staff.
The hospital has about 18 licensed practical nurse and 27 registered nurse vacant positions. The numbers are about a 15 and 54 percent staffing shortage, respectively.
"We're still losing one or two nurses for every two to three nurses that we recruit," Posadas said, adding that many nurses leave the hospital for higher-paying positions in local private clinics or off-island hospitals.
The 24 students who are working toward becoming nurses are part of the Allied Health Program, created jointly by the Guam Community College, the Agency for Human Resources Development and the Guam Memorial Hospital.
The program is an effort to increase the local pool of nurses to fill GMH's nursing vacancies.