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Front counter staff at First Stop Clinic in the Ferndale Haggen building (June 5,, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

Nursing shortage closes one Ferndale business

According to a CareerBuilder study released last month, “the large number of open nursing positions in the U.S. is not expected to cure itself anytime soon. Fifty-six percent of health care employers say they currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates.”

This is the challenge facing First Stop Clinic according to company spokesperson Edwin Stickle as Friday, June 9th, has been announced as the last day First Stop Clinic will be open.

Stickler said the decision came after months of trying to recruit a full-time nurse practitioner to replace the one who gave notice due to relocating out-of-state. During the last 6 weeks, the current nurse practitioner was flying back in an effort to provide more time to find a replacement.

“Without any responses to our recruiting we will be forced to close,” Stickle said in an email.


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“8 years of hard work, thousands of patient visits and years of hard work and dedication from several fine nurse practitioners have not been able to overcome the labor shortage we are facing,” Stickle explained. “The business is otherwise thriving, supported by a local ownership group experienced in medical clinic operations and benefitting from a prime location inside of a very busy Haggen store.”

The Ferndale location was the only First Stop Clinic location. Stickle said, “People who need urgent care and walk-in clinic visits will need to look for urgent care locations in Bellingham.”


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One Comment

  1. Michael Britt Michael Britt June 8, 2017 at 9:11pm

    Obviously, the company running First Stop isn’t offering enough $$ to draw the talent. This is a horrible loss for the community.

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