University Hospital turns to staff to recruit more nurses

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COLUMBIA - University Hospital is offering large incentives to current staff in an effort to recruit more nurses.

MU Health Care will offer up to a $10,000 referral bonus to employees for their help in recruiting qualified registered nurses to come work at the hospital.

The hospital's director of talent acquisition, Peter Callan, said the incentive is the hospital's way of trying to be innovative when it comes to recruiting new RNs.

"Many organizations try other things with finance for the incoming nurse, signing-on bonuses. We chose to reward our own staff, because we kind of value them greatly," Callan said.

Callan said he hopes to add 30 new RNs to the hospital's 1,200 RN team by the end of year.

"We've seen significant growth in our in-patients, and when we look forward over the next few months and next year, that growth continuing, where we're thinking, lets plan ahead," he said.

According to Callan, in order to meet patients needs the hospital must first make sure it has the staff to handle the influx.

"Nursing is the area that we have the greatest impact on the delivery of care, so that's why we are put major emphasis on nursing," Callan said. 

By incorporating current nurses into the recruiting process it helps the hospital in the hiring process and strengthens the work environment, he added.

"By and large people want to work beside people like themselves, high performing people, so we thought, why not five and half thousand recruiters working for us," Callan said.

The hospital also offered a raffle drawing for an all expense paid trip to Hawaii right before Thanksgiving for all the staff who assist in referring.

So far the incentives seem to be working. According to Callan, a nursing career fair held at the hospital on Wednesday afternoon was a full house.