Nursing Industry Desperate To Find New Hires

Nursing Industry Desperate To Find New Hires

While other industries are shedding jobs, nursing recruiters are frantically trying to hire new workers to address a nationwide nursing shortage expected to worsen as the population ages. (AP Photo/ Dinesh Ramde )

Dinesh Ramde / AP

January 05, 2009

Some hospital departments where experience is vital, such as the emergency room or intensive-care unit, simply cannot hire newly minted nurses. So managers in those areas have even fewer staffing choices.

Nurses qualified to teach aspiring nurses are scarce chiefly because they can make at least 20 percent more working at a hospital, experts said.

“It can be hard to turn down that extra money,” said Robert Rosseter, the associate executive director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in Washington, D.C.

Many recruiters have looked for employees overseas, and about one-fourth of the nurses who earned their licenses in 2007 were educated internationally, most in the Philippines and India.

Some health organizations go out of their way to recruit as many nurses as possible even when they’re overstaffed.

Residential Home Health, the home-nursing company in Michigan, is always looking to hire, Curtis said. Even with 375 clinical professionals on staff, his recruiters are eager to sign up as many as 50 more nurses and therapists, hence the Chuck Woolery event.

Zinda, the Milwaukee-area recruiter, said creative recruiting helps to introduce nurses to his hospital. Besides offering interviewees $50 gas cards, he has provided $100 gift cards to the local mall, and created a Facebook page to target younger nurses.

Attracting good candidates is about offering good working conditions, he said, but creative recruiting goes a long way in generating a buzz.

“Bottom line, you need to get people excited about what you’re offering,” he said. “If you don’t, they can easily go elsewhere.”

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