Health Alliance set to hire 20 more nurses

·2 min read

Nearly two dozen more nurses are set to work at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

The Health Alliance has received government funding to help hire additional nurses.

Through the Community Commitment Program for Nurses, eligible nurses could receive up to $25,000 in grant funding in exchange for a two-year commitment to a qualified employer, such as hospitals, long-term care, and home and community care agencies. The program is geared toward recent nursing graduates and those who have not worked as a nurse in Ontario in the past six months.

Those who qualify must begin their employment between now and March 31, 2024. Successful candidates receive the $25,000 incentive in incremental quarterly payments.

According to HealthForceJobs, there are currently 20 nursing jobs available in Chatham-Kent.

Meredith Whitehead, vice-president of transformation and the chief nursing executive, said the Health Alliance has funding to hire 20 people under the Community Commitment Program for Nurses. The program is open to registered nurses, registered practical nurses and nurse practitioners.

“This is a huge opportunity for us. Now, we just need to find those folks that want to come work for us,” she said.

The hospital group has other programs geared toward new graduates, including a tuition reimbursement program.

Whitehead said the hospital is also fortunate to have had funding for the Enhanced Extern program through Ontario Health, extended to March 2023.

She said there are 70 slots available through the program for medical, nursing, respiratory therapy, paramedic, physiotherapy and occupational therapy students.

“This has been an excellent program,” she said, adding there have consistently been 50 to 60 students participating. “This really helps students work in different capacities to be an adjunct part of the team, caring for patients.”

To be eligible for the CCPN, a nurse must:

-Not have been employed as a nurse in Ontario in the six months before being hired;

-Hold a Certificate of Registration in good standing from the College of Nurses of Ontario;

-Begin employment no later than March 31, 2024;

-Commit to two years of employment at a full-time work schedule offered by the employer; and

-Not simultaneously receive funds from the Ministry of Health for the Tuition Support Program for Nurses.

“I think there’s always been a push to have more full-time than part-time in the nursing world. It’s not a new concept for us,” she said.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News