Providers offering more drastic incentives for new nursing hires

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Hospitals and nursing facilities around the country are getting more dramatic in their efforts to attract new employees in the face of a worsening nurse shortage, according to a recent report.

Nearly a quarter million nursing jobs will become available each year until 2016; only about 200,000 new nurses were registered last year, according to information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average yearly salaries as high as $62,480 aren't attracting very many new applicants, and thousands of nurses still leave the profession every year. This has led some providers to take bolder recruiting actions, according to the Associated Press.

Nursing applicants are being offered incredible incentives in many parts of the country. Some of the gifts include: champagne and activities at hiring events hosted by TV celebrities; a one-year lease on a new SUV; LCD flat-screen televisions; free gas cards; $1,000 shopping sprees. One Michigan company even rolled out a red carpet to welcome prospective hires, according to the AP report.