Overton County Health and Rehab is addressing its staffing shortage by adding incentives for new hires.
OCHR Public Information officer Scott Stevens said new CNA’s will get a $2,000 sign on bonus, and non-certified nurses aids will get a $1,000 sign on bonus. Stevens said the facility has the staff it currently needs, but not enough to take on new patients.
Stevens said they are down 30 to 35 patients currently.
“Our census is not nearly as much as it normally would, and we want to start bringing in new COVID free residents, new patients,” Stevens said. “We can’t bring in the numbers if you don’t have the staffing, so we’ve got to get the staffing up.”
Stevens said there is some fear about going into this line of work during the pandemic, but said there is simply a nursing shortage. He said this is not unique to just OCHR.
“There’s a shortage of nurses and it’s not just, it’s just across the board at all long-term health care facilities,” Stevens said. “Hospitals, everybody, there’s just a shortage of nursing staff in general. So, we’re trying to make it, for recruitment, as appealing as possible.”
Stevens said the new sign on bonuses would be paid out over a 6 month period. He also said there have been changes in the training process to accommodate the need.
“They passed a law where we can do an eight-hour online temporary CNA class,” Stevens said. “Normally that would be a three-week class. So, if you are not a CNA and you want to get a temporary CNA license, we can do that for you.”
Stevens said there is a new starting salary for CNA’s and they can find that number out by contacting OCHR. There is a difference in the sign on bonus depending on whether a new hire is a certified nursing assistant.