DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The Durham VA Healthcare System held a job fair Saturday to fill more than 100 open nursing positions.

VA officials tell CBS 17 about 50 people signed up for interviews ahead of time, and even more showed up as walk-ins.

The Durham VA has been dealing with a shortage of nurses since the start of the pandemic three years ago.

(Joseph Holloway/CBS 17)

Interim associate director for patient care Kimberly Bronson says the VA had to reduce some services because of the shortage, but she says the quality of care is still the same.

“We’ve had to close a few beds because of our nursing shortage. We’re beginning to open those beds back up,” Bronson said.

Corey Williams is applying for a nursing job focused on mental health.  

He said even with so many people leaving the nursing industry, he believes it’s what he’s being called to do.

“People need help. People need good quality care,” Williams said.

VA officials tell CBS 17 they’re offering recruitment bonuses of up to $15,000 for well-qualified registered nurses.