04/30/06 — Wayne Memorial steps up nurse recruitment efforts

View Archive

Wayne Memorial steps up nurse recruitment efforts

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 30, 2006 2:08 AM

Recruitment efforts at Wayne Memorial Hospital are paying off, with 75 RNS and six LPNs signing on in the last year and another 33 new nursing graduates committed in the coming months.

William Paugh, chief executive officer and president of the hospital, told the board of trustees recently this is the best recruiting year Wayne Memorial has experienced in several years.

The campaign effort began in January and has generated a lot of interest, said Rick Rogers, vice president of human resources. Posters featuring Wayne Memorial employees have been strategically placed around the hospital to generate referrals of candidates for the health care profession.

The advertisements bear the message, "We Need YOU to help recruit for Wayne Memorial Hospital." In one, Rogers' face is transposed to represent Uncle Sam; in another, Sharon O'Dowd, manager of recruitment and retention services, portrays the World War II character "Rosie the Riveter."

Both say they are excited about the incentives. Not only is a cash bonus being offered to hires in areas where there is a growing need, but to the employees who recommend them for the jobs.

"We're an aging work force," Ms. O'Dowd said. As nurses retire and fewer enter the profession, there is a need to replenish the field, she said.

Sandi Morrissey, manager of workforce development, who handles clinical and nursing recruitment, said the hospital has not fully experienced the nursing shortage yet. But that just makes it all the more important to begin planting the seeds, she said.

The recruitment push is not only focused on nurses, however, Rogers said. It also includes such positions as radiology technicians, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

Because most, and the best, referrals come from family and friends, it is an ideal market to tap into, Ms. O'Dowd said. Just since January, 47 new hires have been reported, she said.

The hospital has also broadened its efforts in other ways. An e-newsletter was launched online three months ago as a way to draw nurses to Goldsboro. A variety of job openings are advertised and there is the option of submitting an application via computer.

A national firm also provides a recruiter and fields calls, and the hospital helps in the relocation process. As a result of that, there have been three new employees from New York, two from Kentucky, and one each from California, Indiana, Mississippi, Texas and Pennsylvania.

With college graduations, there will be another pool of nurses, Ms. Morrisey said.

"We have 33 already committed that are coming from May to July," she said.

The recruitment effort does not end once a candidate is hired. Wayne Memorial offers stipends and incentives programs to enhance staff development and shore up the retention rate of health care workers.

Rogers said he is banking on the ongoing programs and other efforts of the hospital to stave off a future crisis.

"The hospital supports and funds these projects," he said. "We're getting some great results; we're seeing some great things happen.

"We're pulling folks from this area and outside the area. It's a win-win all around, and it's good for the community to know what we're doing. Technology is one part of it, but finding a talented staff to work with our patients is equally important."