The Health Resources and Services Administration says by the year 2020, Mississippi will suffer a nursing shortfall of 22 percent. That's reason enough for corporate giant Johnson & Johnson to step in to help.
"It's always about the patient and we have a philosophy here of "whatever it takes." And that's pretty much the way we address each day as whatever it takes to get through," says Bill Lawson, a nurse at the Biloxi Regional Medical Center.
Lawson has been a nurse at the hospital for five years. He says the fast paced environment leaves him very little time to think about the shortage.
But others say it's not something you can ignore.
"You hear that the nursing shortage goes in cycles. I have not ever experienced where there are enough nurses," says Cindy Kinsey, Assistant Chief Nursing Officer at Biloxi Regional Medical Center.
The nursing staff at Biloxi Regional says Katrina only made matters worse.
"Maybe four to six months after the storm, when the rest of the country figured we were probably okay and everything was back to normal, when in fact we know that it wasn't, that's when things started to get very tough," says Pam McVey.
McVey is the Chief Nursing Officer at Biloxi Regional. She says the hospital lost 150 nurses after the storm. But her staff pulled together to help heal South Mississippi.
Now Johnson & Johnson is honoring state nurses for their bravery. It's all a part of the "Campaign for Nursing's Future."
"Our very first responsibility is to doctors, nurses, mothers and all others who use our products and services," says Andrea Higham with Johnson & Johnson.
Leaders say the national campaign is committed to recruitment and retention in the nursing profession in hopes of ending the nationwide shortage and to start a new era of caring. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.discovernursing.com