State health officials make urgent call for volunteer nurses

August 14, 2021 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials say an increase in hospitalizations across the state has prompted them to put out an urgent call for volunteer nurses to help boost the state’s medical workforce.

The New Mexico Department of Health late Friday called on nurses or anyone with a medical license to volunteer to help because they believe hospitals could soon be overwhelmed with patients. They want recently retired health workers or anyone qualified to sign up for the state’s Medical Reserve Corps.

Hospitals in New Mexico and across the nation are seeing increased hospitalizations because of long-postponed surgeries and a surge in COVID-19 patients. The Delta variant of the coronavirus is much more contagious than previous strains.

The state Friday reported 798 additional COVID-19 cases and five new deaths. They bring the count of confirmed New Mexico virus cases since the pandemic began in early 2020 to 218,569 and the number of deaths to 4,446.


State officials said their modeling predicts more than 1,000 new cases a day in the next several weeks.

“We ask our nurses, and anyone with a medical license, to once again volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps,” Dr. David R. Scrase, the acting director of the state health department, said in a statement. “To get through this together, we need everyone who can provide patient care to work side by side with us during this critical time.”

The state’s Reserve Medical Corps has filled more than 139 requests during the pandemic, deploying 2,750 volunteers. To sign up, go to the Corps website at