In light of the ongoing nursing shortage, Grant Regional Health Center set out to create an in-depth action plan centered around creative ways to attract and hire nurses to join or remain on our team. We were aware of the many factors contributing to this serious issue that created a gap between supply and demand for nurses.
A group of nurses led by Grant Regional’s chief clinical officer discussed many ideas to implement. This group worked closely with administration and human resources to accomplish many different tactics. They felt that in order to attract qualified, interested nurses, we must look at strategies that have a direct positive impact on things that matter most to nurses, which include education assistance, a team environment/culture, and compensation/wages.
Grant Regional Health Center has pledged support of $75,000 over each of the next three years to expand the Southwest Tech Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) course offerings and allow for continuous enrollment, retention, and completion. The sponsorships will allow for ADN students to enroll in January, in addition to the fall semester.
In November, we awarded two of our current nursing interns the Need for Nurses Scholarship in partnership with Southwest Tech. Each student will receive a $5,000 scholarship that will include a two-year employment commitment at a 0.9 FTE following graduation.
In an effort to be competitive with the region’s job market and recent increases in other area hospital nurse wages, we implemented a wage increase for Obstetrics, Med/Surg, Surgery, Outpatients, and ER nurses to help recruit and retain. We believe this is an important way to show our staff that we value long-term employees as well as a way to keep up with the market for new staff. This wage increase went into effect at the end of 2022. We were thrilled to receive many positive comments and appreciation following the one-on-one meetings to announce the wage increases. A few examples are: “Wow” and some happy tears to follow and “As a single mom this makes a huge difference, I can’t believe it.”
Another program that will go into effect in January 2023 is an RN Clinical Ladder to reward and compensate nursing staff who go above and beyond their regular job duties.