CoxHealth is experiencing tremendous growth, and in an effort to keep up with the growing need for health care personnel, the system will soon be hiring even more nurses.
In a special project dedicated to filling these needs, carefully screened and highly qualified nurses are being recruited from overseas. Approximately 100 nurses – primarily from the Philippines, where English is an official language – will come to the health system over the next year. The first will begin arriving Fall 2016.
“A nursing shortage is facing the United States, and we at CoxHealth believe we must try new solutions to fill the gap,” says Karen Kramer, CoxHealth’s Chief Nursing Officer. “We always want to supply the health care that our community needs, and feel that bringing nurses to us is a good way of doing that.”
CoxHealth is still actively recruiting local nurses and health care professionals, and this practice won’t replace traditional recruitment efforts.
“The need for nurses is only going to continue to grow,” says Kramer. “Supporting that need through international hires doesn’t solve the problem, but it does allow us to greater support our patients.”
CoxHealth isn’t the only system facing a growing demand for nursing professionals, and other hospitals have been hiring international nurses for years. Because of this, U.S.-based organizations exist to help source and screen those nurses. Once screened, each qualified candidate is interviewed by health system representatives via Skype. Interviews include assessment of clinical skills, English proficiency and organizational fit.
“We have been very impressed by the people we have interviewed so far,” says Kramer. “The U.S. and the Philippines have developed similarly strong standards for nursing over the past 50 years, so we feel that these individuals will seamlessly support our organization.”
All applicants have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and are required to have a minimum of two years of nursing experience.
They must pass the same tests, such as the national nursing exam known as NCLEX, and have the same certifications as local nurses. They are also required to pass an English proficiency exam. Once on-site, all nurses will participate in an extensive educational orientation program.
Mentoring will also be an important part of the program. “Our goal is to hire excellent nurses that will be welcomed to our community, fall in love with Southwest Missouri and choose to stay long term, “ says Kramer.