San Diego Business Journal

An organization called Recruiting Nevada aims to draw nurses from San Diego into Nevada in a major way.

The Las Vegas-based company, founded in 1993, says that 20 percent of nurses moving to Nevada, which has a nursing shortage, are from California , more than any other state. The state with the second highest concentration of nurses flowing to Nevada is New York, which accounts for about 6 percent, the group said.

But medical industry officials say California suffers from a shortage, too.

"The recruiters are taking advantage of the nursing shortage to make a profit," said Deborah Burger, president of the California Nurses Association, the state's largest nurses union based in Sacramento. "It's like very much lobbying Peter to pay Paul."

Recruiting Nevada spokesman Jeff Jensen said the company tries to convince nurses in California that Nevada has a better cost of living and "more opportunities."

The company just launched a high-tech job Web site, www.nvtechnologyjobs.com. Representatives from the firm regularly participate in trade shows here.

Recruiting Nevada targets Southern California more than other areas of the country for its high-tech reputation, Jensen said.

Burger admitted it's difficult for nurses to turn down lucrative offers from recruiting companies, such as sign-on bonuses, no holiday hours and extended stay hotels with maid service.

"Hospitals aren't able to offer those kind of incentives," she said, adding that luring them is the easiest part. "It's one thing to recruit them and get them to sign up at your hospital. But getting them to stay is more difficult. Some hospitals and other groups have really listened and been more successful at retaining nurses."

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Computers Join AIDS Fight: When businesses shut off the lights and lock the doors for the night, they can help in the fight against the AIDS virus by leaving on their computers.

Similarly, individuals can help in the fight against AIDS while they sleep. San Diego's Scripps Research Institute is sending AIDS data to IBM Corp. to analyze using private computers across the world.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based computer giant will then use hundreds of thousands of computers from around the globe to process the information using software, called AutoDock, which has been developed at Scripps during the last 15 years.

Owners of computers must visit www.worldcommunitygrid.org and download the software to participate. Whenever a user's computer is idle, the software runs millions of scenarios to evaluate how well a drug would work against the AIDS virus, which mutates often, said Art Olson, a professor of molecular biology at Scripps.

Olson said when a user returns to his or her computer, the software will immediately allow regular use of the computer without interruption.

He also said there's no need to be concerned about privacy.

"The fact that IBM is involved is a good guarantee," Olson said, adding that 3,000 labs around the world use AutoDock for other research.

FightAIDS@Home is one of the first major projects to use the World Community Grid, or network of computers, for research.

Employing hundreds of thousands of computers around the globe, as a supercomputer of sorts, will lessen the money needed for researching AIDS, said Olson.

More than 150,000 people have downloaded the software.

It is part of an AIDS research project in its 13th year, sponsored by the Bethesda, Md.-based National Institutes of Health, in which scientists from more than 20 labs at Scripps participate.

Contact Katie Weeks with health care news at kweeks@sdbj.com or call her at (858) 277-6359.