Fletcher Allen, nurses launch recruitement effort

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Fletcher Allen, nurses launch recruitement effort

Thu, 07/29/2004 - 8:00pm -- tim

Fletcher Allen and the Vermont Federation of Nurses and
Health Professionals Announce Recruitment & Retention Plans

"100 Nurses/100 Days" Campaign to Run August 2 - November 9
BURLINGTON, VT - Fletcher Allen Health Care and the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals today announced a comprehensive recruitment and retention plan designed to attract 100 nurses in 100 days to Vermont's academic health center, and to retain the nurses who already work there.
"This campaign is a top priority for Fletcher Allen and represents an intensive effort to strengthen our nursing workforce in support of our patient care mission," said President and Chief Executive Officer Melinda Estes, MD. "We want to send a clear message to both prospective and current nurses with these initiatives. The message is simple: 'At Fletcher Allen, we value the profession of nursing.'"
"Nurses know what patients need, and we believe that this agreement is a hopeful signal that this new Administration recognizes that the retention and recruitment of Nurses is critical to the needs of our patients and the community," said Jen Henry, RN, President of the Vt. Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals.
Fletcher Allen currently is using temporary nurses or "travelers" to fill its open nursing positions. Fletcher Allen has approximately 180 open registered nursing positions, equal to 116 full time equivalents. The organization currently employs approximately 130 travelers from other parts of the country to address this shortage.

"Using travelers to address the nursing shortage is a temporary and expensive solution to a long-term problem," said Chief Nursing Officer Mary Botter, Ph.D., R.N. "The real solution is to hire permanent nurses and retain them. Fletcher Allen is committed to both recruitment and retention, and we are working with our nurses union to ensure that we do both."
Recruitment Campaign (Call 802-847-4429 or 800-722-9922)
Fletcher Allen's "100 Nurses/100 Days" recruitment campaign will run August 2 through November 9. It will include a variety of marketing strategies including direct mail and an advertising campaign featuring testimonials from registered nurses currently on staff at the academic health center. Specific initiatives include:
Fletcher Allen will advertise in several Vermont newspapers and on several Vermont radio stations, in addition to advertising in northern New York, southern New Hampshire and Sherbrooke, Canada.
Fletcher Allen will run ads in Advance for Nurses, a monthly nursing trade publication mailed to every registered nurse with an active license in New England.
Fletcher Allen will advertise on the Web site of Nursing Spectrum, a nursing trade publication with a national electronic job board.
The organization will send a recruitment letter to all registered nurses with an active license living in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and Eastern New York.
As part of the recruitment plan, Fletcher Allen also will offer a variety of financial incentives to current employees who refer nurses to the organization, and Fletcher Allen will offer financial incentives to new nurses who choose to join Fletcher Allen on a part-time or full-time basis. All sign-on bonuses will be offered in two payments - half at 90 days and the remaining half after one year, with a required employment commitment of two years.
Retention Efforts
In the area of nurse retention, following a series of discussions with the Federation of Nursing and Health Professionals, Fletcher Allen has agreed to take several actions to support retention, including:
To reopen discussions with the union about wages for current nurses. These discussions will begin in January of 2005, which marks mid-point of the current three-year contract.
Tuition reimbursement will be increased from $1,650 to $2,000 per year for full-time nurses and will be prorated for part-time nurses.
Nurses will be allowed access to Extended Sick Bank days upon the first day of illness or injury, eliminating a waiting period that currently exists.
Fletcher Allen has agreed that its health care benefits contributions for part-time nurses will remain at 60%, with employees paying 40%.

The current contract had called for a reduction of this benefit.
These new initiatives are intended to build on several other ongoing efforts already underway to help foster a work environment that ensures nurse retention. Ongoing initiatives are targeting the following areas:
Facilitating the involvement of staff nurses in decision-making across the organization.
Facilitating career development of nurses from the novice to expert level.
Development of an enhanced "preceptor" or mentoring program to orient nurses new to the organization.
Enhancing management education to ensure managers are skilled in creating a nursing environment that is supportive of nursing practice.
Financial Incentives
Fletcher Allen will offer the following financial incentives as part of its recruitment program. All sign-on bonuses will be offered in two payments: half at 90 days and the remaining half after one year, with a required commitment of two years.
Financial Incentives for Employees Who Refer Nurses to Fletcher Allen
Fletcher Allen will offer the following financial incentives to current employees who refer new nurses to the organization:
$1,000 payment to employees who refer a part-time nurse to the organization
$2,000 payment to employees who refer a full-time nurse to the organization.
Financial Incentives for "Per Diem" Nurses Who Increase Commitment
Fletcher Allen will offer the following financial incentives to current per diem registered nurses at the organization who step up their commitment to work additional hours.
$3,000 bonus for per diem nurses at Fletcher Allen who sign up to work on a part-time basis
$6,000 bonus for "per diem" nurses at Fletcher Allen who sign up to work on a full-time basis.
Financial Incentives for Part-Time Nurses Who Increase Commitment to Full-Time
Fletcher Allen will offer the following financial incentives to current "part-time" registered nurses at the organization who step up their commitment to full-time.
$3,000 bonus for "part-time" nurses at Fletcher Allen who sign up to work on a full-time basis.
Financial Incentives for Registered Nurses Who Join the Organization
Fletcher Allen will offer the following financial incentives to registered nurses who join the organization:
$5,000 payment toward the last semester of college for new graduate nurses who commit to work full-time
$6,000 bonus for "traveling" nurses at Fletcher Allen who decide to sign on permanently on a full-time basis with the organization
$3,000 bonus for former Fletcher Allen nurses who rejoin the organization on a part-time basis within one year of departure
$6,000 bonus for former Fletcher Allen nurses who rejoin the organization on a full-time basis within one year of departure
$1,500 sign-on bonus to nurses who join the organization on a part-time basis
$3,000 sign-on bonus to nurses who join the organization on a full-time basis
Ferry Subsidy for all Nurses and all Employees
Fletcher Allen will begin offering a ferry subsidy to all nurses and all of its employees who commute from New York -- both current and newly hired