This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS — The relentless toll of the pandemic has worsened the ongoing nursing shortage at St. Louis area hospitals.

Over the past decade, the nation’s nursing shortage has been growing but now with the number of nurses leaving the profession during the pandemic, it’s turning into a crisis, nurses and hospital administrators say. Turnover became heavy last fall and winter during the surge of COVID-19 patients.

Now as hospitalizations surge again, another group of nurses is leaving the profession for less stressful jobs or becoming traveling nurses that earn four or five times as much.