Star Valley Medical Center is partnering with community members to find and hire nurses.
“We are trying to get our ICU up and running and we need additional nursing staff to make that happen,” said Trevor Merritt, human resources director at Star Valley Medical Center. “We have eight open nursing positions at the medical center, four in ICU, one in OR and three in med/surg. Right now we have three traveling nurses in place and are looking to hire a fourth. A shortage of nurses is the biggest hold up in our ICU. We don’t have the nurses to staff it.”
According to Merritt, the region and nation are both experiencing a nursing shortage.
“The American population is aging,” said Merritt. “As that happens there is a greater need for health care professionals and less people to fill those roles.”
According to Merritt, Star Valley Medical Center has a lot of positive areas to consider when searching for nurses.
“We participate in the Idaho Health Association and the Wyoming Health Association surveys each year and are confident that our salaries and benefits are very competitive with the hospitals in our region,” he said. “Having a positive work environment is also critical to attracting and keeping quality health care staff. We continue to improve and transform the culture at Star Valley Medical Center and feel that our work culture is very positive.”
The medical center’s commitment to quality and national recognition as an excellent medical care facility also help, Merritt said.
According to Merritt, Star Valley Medical Center is also involving community members in the search for qualified nursing staff.
“Anyone in the community who finds a nurse that we hire and then that nurse stays with us for six months, will receive a $500 finders fee,” said Merritt. “Nurses who stay with us for two years will receive a $6,000 longevity bonus.”
According to Merritt, the goal of the community nursing search is to find excellent nurses who want to build a life in Star Valley.
“We recognize there will continue to be challenges with regards to the national nursing shortage,” he said. “We feel that Star Valley Medical Center is a positive place to be and will continue to work forward.”