Hospitals Get Creative in Recruiting Nurses
White Plains hospital in New York has started a program where once per week for the past year, as many as 20 students at White Plains High School spend their lunch hour with a nurse or some other guest speaker from the hospital to learn about nursing careers. The hospital started the program as a way to make a strong, early contact with students considering a career in nursing. White Plains Hospital hopes to nurture students, provide internship opportunities, ease the path to nursing school and to be first in line as an employer when the students are ready to work.
As the nursing shortage worsens, hospitals throughout the Lower Hudson Valley are finding new ways to ensure that they have the staff they need to care for their patients and keep their programs running. While White Plains Hospital looks to identify future nurses in its own community, some hospitals reach across the world for qualified workers. Online nursing schools and hospital organizations in the Lower Hudson Valley are hoping to increase the number of local nursing graduates so it is no longer necessary to search the world for qualified candidates.
Careers in nursing are also becoming more popular for older students seeking a second career. The desire to help others is a factor that prompts many people to seek a second career as a nurse. The relatively high salaries they can earn are another. Hospitals in the Lower Hudson Valley generally pay starting salaries in the $50,000 for registered nurses. Nurses with 10 or more years of experience and those with a RN to BSN can make more than $80,000.
Hospitals have even started to work out a plan that that involves them sending master degree-level nurses to serve as instructors at surrounding Nursing schools. In return, the hospitals earn tuition credits, which can be used by its employee's. The program benefits both the schools and the hospitals, said Dawn Rougeux, director of emergency preparedness and work force development for the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association.
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