WINGHAM, Ont. -- A shortage of nurses is forcing the part-time closure of a local hospital’s emergency room.

Clinton’s ER will be closed from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. starting Dec. 2.

The hospital says they’ve been trying to recruit registered nurses for the past five years - with limited success.

The shortage has reached a point where an overnight closure of the Clinton Public Hospital's ER became the only option.

Other options considered included a weekend closure of the ER, but since 85 per cent of ER visits happen between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. it was decided the overnight closure was the best option.

The overnight closure will last until more nurses can be recruited.

The hospital says other small, rural hospitals will be in a similar situation if just one registered nurse were to retire, move or quit.

This is the second overnight closure of an ER in Midwestern Ontario.

Earlier this year, the Chesley hospital closed their ER overnight, also due to a nursing shortage.