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Kern Back In Business: Dignity Health needs 50+ nurses

The hospital using traveling nurses to fill gaps
Dignity Health Nurses
Posted at 4:56 AM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 09:10:43-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Dignity Health has more than 50 nursing job openings across their 3 campuses in Bakersfield. The local hospital chain’s recruiters are looking to traveling nurses help them fill those openings.

Traveling nurses are nurses who work full-time on a temporary basis. They get assigned to a hospital for a couple of months before move to another hospital in another part of the country. Traveling nurses can cover for either medical leaves or other extended vacancies. Dignity Health’s recruiters said the traveling nurse program helps them recruit more nurses around the country.

Richard Doane is a traveling nurse from Phoenix. He says it’s his way to do something he loves while seeing the country.

“All over California,” said Doane, “Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, I’ve been to the Midwest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in Phoenix Arizona, Show Low, Arizona and I also did an assignment in Hawai’i, on the Big Island.”

Doane is current assignment to Dignity Health’s burn unit. He said his job is to get to know his patients, keep them comfortable and help them with their hydrotherapy and wound care.

“It’s definitely like, I feel like family here. I don’t feel like a traveler. The facility is doing so much to grow,” said Doane.

That family is looking to grow. While traveling nurses help fill hospital’s temporary openings, Dignity Health recruit Brad Garrett said there are over 50 nursing open positions available at their three hospitals in Bakersfield.

“The areas of focus right now for us are at Mercy and Mercy Southwest are going to be our [labor and delivery] departments, our [operating room] department and our ICU,” said Garrett.

He continued to say those traveling nurses could be used to expand Dignity Health’s hiring pool beyond Kern County.

“Ideally, obviously, we’d love to have staff locally,” said Garrett. “But sometimes our travelers end up being local staff. They like it here so much that they come on as full-time employees.”

When asked how Dignity Health tries to keep them traveling nurses in Bakersfield opposed to going off to their next stop, Garrett answered, “A lot of times once they’re here they fall in love with the floor, they fall in love with Bakersfield. We have a great benefits comprehensive package. We love to keep them here, they already know the managers, they already know the floor. It’s a pretty simple transition once they end their assignment, ”

Doane is one of those traveling nursing thinking about taking one of Dignity Health’s open positions. He is currently on his second assignment in Bakersfield and said the hospital is like his family.

“I just kept in contact with the director of the burn unit, and just pretty much I’ve been friends with everybody that I’ve worked with previously. So, it, when they asked me to come back it was kind of an easier decision than I thought it would be.”
Garrett says their starting salary is based on your education and experience. Along with free health and dental care, dignity health also offers tuition buyback.

For those in Bakersfield looking to see the U.S. as a traveling nurse Doane has this suggestion for you.

“You can see as much as possible and get good skills,” suggested Doane. “Just make sure you’re educated on what all travel nursing entails, because there’s a lot to it and it’s not for everybody. But for the people it’s for it’s great.”

For more information about how to apply to Dignity Health for one of their more than 50 nursing job openings visit their website here. And for more information about becoming a traveling nurse visit an informational website here.