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Augusta Health to host RN hiring event in Harrisonburg

Augusta Health located in Fishersville, VA.
Augusta Health located in Fishersville, VA.(WVIR)
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 10:22 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - “There was a nursing shortage before COVID, it has just accelerated and exacerbated some of that shortages. People have left nursing or at least bedside care to go do other things. There have been opportunities to make more money, so going to become a travel nurse for a few months or a year. That has left positions open in the hospital setting,” Crystal Farmer, MSN, RN, NE-BC said.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research projected more than one million nurses will retire before 2030. Augusta Health, like many healthcare facilities across the country, is dealing with a nursing shortage.

Farmer is the vice president and chief nursing officer at Augusta Health. Farmer has been a nurse for 25 years and has watched the industry evolve.

“The things that COVID has impacted, not just the nursing workforce, respiratory therapy, EVS, every single person that works in the hospital and outside clinics that are impacted,” Farmer explained.

Experts say while there can be challenges recruiting in a rural market, organizations do better when they are innovative with their hiring practices.

“We are not any different as far as the nursing shortage. Where I think we are different is what we are promoting into the community and nurses that want to come work for us,” Farmer added.

Farmer says while there are no more positions open than when she came to AH three years ago, the hospital has added new positions.

“For example, two years ago we didn’t have a respiratory unit to take care of COVID patients. Well, this year I have 12 positions open because we created a new unit. Not all of them are related to not being able to fill positions but we are creating new positions for different services that we are offering now,” Farmer said.

Farmer says one position is not more important than the other but there are some roles that they are more focused on.

“Making sure that we have enough intensive care nurses to care for the patients that are coming in that are critically ill. Also our emergency room department is where patients first present, so making sure we have enough nurses there as we care for the community as we surge into COVID and come back down. Other critical areas are our medical department,” Farmer added.

Augusta Health serves thousands of patients daily. Thursday’s hiring event will include interviews, networking opportunities, giveaways and prizes. Facilitators encourage experienced and recently graduated registered nurses to attend.

“We will do on-site interviews we may do some contingency offers and those are contingent on shadowing in the hospital and making sure it is the right fit. They are also contingent on background checks,” Farmer added.

The hiring event will go on from 3-8 p.m. at the Hyatt Place Harrisonburg at 1884 Evelyn Byrd Ave. Those who cannot attend the event should click here for more information or email employment@augustahealth.com

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