Recruiting hooks for your facility

Nurse Leader Insider, November 16, 2007

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Myra Aldana is the HR director for Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, CA. Aldana has been in her position at Huntington for more than four years and is always thinking of fresh ways to bring new, qualified nurses to her facility. How and why does her organization do it? Aldana takes us behind the scenes after a successful event that drew 440 nurses last week.

To lure new nurses, Aldana says she has seen:

  • Very aggressive sign-on bonuses
  • Weekend cruises
  • Down payments on homes
In her view, though, it's not always about the biggest idea. "It's about executing your ideas well," she says.

That was part of the reason Huntington, a 525-bed, non-profit hospital, sent out 13,000 direct mail pieces to nurses touting an exclusive tour of the new west tower. "That was our biggest hook, to come and see the building and get a private tour," Aldana says.

It wasn't their only hook, though. Other perks of the two-day event included:

  • A gift bag with a drug handbook and recruitment materials (video, brochure, pen)
  • A free, one-hour CE class
  • A grand prize raffle for a weekend of Pasadena elegance that included two nights at the Ritz Carlton, dinner, and tickets to the Pasadena Playhouse
  • Refreshments and hors d'ouevres
But perks are not always the answer, says Aldana. "It's not just about the recruitment hook. It's not just about having a creative way to bring people in," she says.

The 440 people that set foot in the new 128-room facility--set to open on December 10--were even more of a draw than Aldana expected. Of the 440, 150 were new graduates, a great showing for an organization that hires about 200 new nurses each year.

In a culture of can-you-top-this, perks and bonuses for new nurses may be here to stay.

Editor's Note: This excerpt was adapted from the article, "Behind the scenes of a nurse recruitment event" featured in the Reading Room on HCPro's new online resource center,!

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