BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Experienced nurses, Adventist Health in Bakersfield is looking for you. This week Adventist Health is looking to hire 50 or more experienced nurses to join their healthcare team. The hospital is hosting a job fair Wednesday August 14th. And although they're looking for more seasoned nurses they have a program that could also send those newly hired veteran nurses back to school.
Jenna Thorn is an emergency department nurse at Adventist Health. She started out of college five months ago.
"First when I got here I felt like a chicken with its head cut off, because you learned everything in nursing school. And you're so smart," she said. "You passed your boards. And yeah. And then you have your first day and everything falls apart and you don't even know how to put a Band-Aid on a patient. You just freak out."
Thorn said it was the support system at Adventist Health that eased her into her nursing role and has made her coworkers feel more than a family and team than just collages.
"That was really important to me to find a facility that I felt I was going to be a part of the team not just a newbie worker bee. So that really fit for me," said Thorn.
Adventist Health nurse leader, Shawn Pettis said, the hospital need more nurses like Thorn, or even more experienced, to fill their more than 50 nursing positions available. And he's concerned their openings could impact Adventist Health's patient care.
"Ultimately it affects the patient's outcome," said Pettis. "It affects the quality of care that we have. It also affects the connection. If we have a nurse that you know, if we have too many patients and not enough nurses then they're not getting that one on one care that they need."
To help fill those nursing opening Adventist Health is hosting a nursing job fair Wednesday August 14th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in their medical office building at 2615 Chester Avenue.
Pam Thompson is Adventist Health's nurse talent adviser. She said about the job fair, "You can go online to our website at Adventist Health careers and follow the links and apply for any RN position. It doesn't matter. If you don't have the time to do that if you bring your resume in with you and just come in and we'll go over the resume with you."
Thompson said Adventist Health offers extra perks to encourage trained nurses to go back to the classroom. "As an employee here, you are eligible for 24 hours a year for education pay. So if you decide to go outside to get your CEUs, we pay you up to 24 hours. We also now offer the tuition forgiveness program here at our facility. And what that is is a program through the federal government and state where you can apply to have your existing education loans forgiven."
Joey Zielsdorf is a prospective nursing student interesting in Adventist Health's loan forgiveness. He recently graduated from Pittsburgh State University in Pittsburgh, Kansas. Now he's trying to figure out which program he can get into.
"With my first round of applications I applied to everywhere here in Bakersfield," said Zielsdorf. "I applied in community colleges down south. And really tried to take the most cost-effective route. And I feel like that's the most difficult because it's the most impacted."
Heading into the next school year Zielsdorf wishes he had a better plan for his senior year of high school and undergrad years in college. He hopes current students go back to school follow his advise of what he wishes he had done.
"If I was a senior in high school, I definitely would have looked more into what career I would have wanted to pursue, because now that I have to work backwards it's made things a little more difficult. It's narrowed my pathway a little bit. So I definitely would have looked into what field of study I wanted to pursue rather than generalizing what area I wanted to be in," said Zielsdorf.
For a becoming experienced nurse, like Thorn, she said, working at Adventist Health drives her to want to help her patients as well as the next generation of nurses. And it's those experienced nurses with the calling to help people are who Adventist Health is looking for at their job fair.
"If you get that calling, you have to just gravitate to it," said Thorn. "There's literally nothing else that I would rather do. I'm a mom by nature, so nursing was just easy. I love what I do."