Is there a nurse in the house?

One of the many career development programs offered to nurses at HSHS is the HSHS Southern Illinois Division RN Residency Program. Since starting this innovative program in 2006, the overall goal of reducing RN turnover and increasing RN retention has been achieved. The most recent cohort, pictured above, began in July 2018.

Across the country, hospitals are facing a shortage of nurses, and that shortage is occurring locally as well.

HSHS Southern Illinois Human Resources Generalist Jill Wilson isn’t sure what the shortage is attributed to, but indicated that at St. Elizabeth’s “we have a lot of exciting opportunities  and technology for nurses in our new hospital that allow them to provide exceptional patient care”.

“We are looking for full-time nurses in a variety of units including the Emergency Department and Telemetry,” Wilson said. “The advanced technology at St. Elizabeth’s is impressive. Our nurses have the opportunity to build their skills and gain experience by working on the very latest technology, and to be part of a team that serves patients better than ever before.”

Wilson said that if a registered nurse has at least one year of hospital RN experience, they may qualify for a sign-on bonus up to $15,000 depending on the unit they are hired into.

“These are our two biggest areas of need,” Wilson said. “We’re offering a $15,000 sign-on bonus for positions in Telemetry at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s and a $10,000 sign-on bonus for the Emergency Department and other inpatient nursing areas, subject to eligibility requirements,” she said.

Wilson said there are other benefits available for nurses seeking to further their education.

“We also have great tuition reimbursement options for nurses seeking to further their education,” Wilson said.

Wilson said that HSHS St. Elizabeth’s will be hosting a job fair on September 13 in the hospital’s board room with hiring managers in attendance.

“It’s a really good opportunity for nurses and certified nurse assistants to meet hiring managers in a ‘no pressure’ atmosphere,” she said. “They can see the hospital and get a feel for our culture.”

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s regularly posts job openings on its website, attends campus job fairs and speaks to schools about nursing opportunities.

Another area offering full-time employment is within the divisional Southern Illinois Division (SID) Float Pool. The SID Float Pool offers qualified, eligible RNs the chance to practice full-time for 10 to 12 weeks in a specific department based upon where they’re most needed.

Regina F. Peterson, DNP, RN, Director of Professional Practice and Development, Educational Services, RN Residency and the SID Float Pool, said nurses serving in different hospital roles fulfill a vital role within the health care system’s overall mission.

“Staffing nursing needs is always a big challenge,” Peterson said. “What we’ve found is that sometimes agency call-ins are not able to fit as well into our culture and mission. We need flexibility with regard to specific positions and locations, but we also want to welcome these floating nursing professionals into our family and our mission.”

“As a SID Float Pool RN, a nurse is assigned to a specific ministry within the Southern Illinois Division and to a specific department for no shorter than 10 weeks,” Peterson said. “Float Pools allow RNs to serve where they’re most needed.”

Wilson said that she would advise for candidates to apply to more than one nursing position at St. Elizabeth’s “if they are not sure which is the right fit for them.”

She also advised candidates to be prepared to talk about their work experience and to be able to “speak to their goals and what they are looking to achieve, not only in this position – but in the future.”

Wilson said that St. Elizabeth’s spends time developing in its current employees.

“Knowing their intentions is nice because then we can help them achieve those goals throughout their career within HSHS,” she said.

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