CHI Health offering more opportunities for students

"We have to be intuitive, we have to do things differently."

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- As hospitals continue to see a staffing shortage, hiring teams are getting creative with ways to add more employees to their teams.

The CHI Health organization is hiring various areas of the hospital, from foodservice to nursing, but their goal is to hire 350 certified nursing assistants by the end of 2021.  They are hoping to achieve this goal by offering more opportunities for students.

“With healthcare being so short-staffed, we have to be intuitive, we have to do things differently and so we are going to be partnering with some programs to try to get new populations into healthcare, like high schoolers and we are already forming partnerships with the Latino Midlands Center,” said Bo Vanis BSN, RN Hiring manager.

Hiring more CNA’s will help take a load off of nurses.

“If you are short one nurse, and we are able to give you three CNA’s to help support those nurses, then we are going to do it. We’ve got to start thinking of health care differently, and this is the first step,” said Vanis.

CNA’s can be as young as 16, and will help those who are interested in the medical field get hands-on experience.

“The classroom setting here at the hospital is really in the patient care areas and in the patient rooms,” said Shannon George Director of critical care services at CHI.

There are special sign-on bonuses for CNA’s

“If you’re a full-time, you can qualify for a $3,500 sign-on bonus for the night shift and a $2,500 sign-on bonus for the day shift,” said Vanis.

CHI has created a new position for anyone curious about becoming a nurse.

“The health care support tech is a new position we created if you want to get your CNA, we can help you with your certification, reimburse you for your certification, and pay you while you’re going through the program,” said George.

CHI now has opportunities for nursing students to get hands-on experience as well.

“We have student nurse techs who are actually nursing students in nursing programs. They make a little bit more than CNA’s do. They are on a fast track if you will, to becoming nurses at our facility. So they take their boards after they graduate, and are pretty much guaranteed a position here at the hospital as a nurse, and they have opportunities at any of the nursing units,” said George.

For those curious about vaccination status, individuals without an approved exemption may continue to work with masking and regular COVID-19 testing until at least January.  These job options not only pay you as you learn and gives you the opportunity to find a passion for your career.

“It’s really rewarding and the people that you get to take care of and those that you meet along the way, form who you are. I’ve been in nursing a really long time and some of my best memories come from working with patients and their families,” said George.

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