60 Nurses in 60 Days

Kandace McLaughlin, HealthLeaders Media, July 23, 2008

Click to view larger version.Sixty nurses in 60 days. Ambitious? Yes. Doable? For Midland (TX) Memorial, absolutely. "In 2007 we hired a recruiting firm," says Robert Dent, vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer for Midland. "We spent $100,000 and recruited just five nurses. After about a year only three of them actually started working here." When the contract renewal time with the firm came around, Dent did some research and decided that Midland could find a way to do better.

The facility needed 60 nurses and based on the research of the market area, Dent believed they could do it in 60 days.

"It was quite ambitious," says Marcy Madrid, manager of public and media relations. "When we were first presented with this we were spending that much money and we were happy if we got five recruitments out of it. His plan included a lot more nurses in a lot shorter time. And, we'd never done it before, but Bob's department was confident that there were great people in the community and surrounding communities. It was all just a matter of getting the word out there."

The initiative included TV, radio, print, and outdoor, with a focus on newspapers. "Because we were dealing with recruiting, the newspaper was an important medium to hit since it's where people go to look for jobs," says Madrid.

The campaign's main message was "Midland Memorial, your home for healthcare" and the spots featured Midland employees. "We used our own people," says Madrid. "We usually don't based on turnover, but because this was a specialized campaign that was really about the people we chose to use our people in it. Midland has a great family atmosphere the best way to convey that was featuring the people who believe in that and work in that and think that everyday."

At the end of the 60 days, Midland had recruited more than 60 nurses. Of course, once they got them there they knew they needed to keep them happy as well. "We have a lot of systems in place to help with retention. New employees aren't just thrown into the fire. They know what they're getting in to," says Madrid.

Not only did this campaign help meet the organization's nursing needs but, according to Madrid, featuring current employees also helped to reinstate a sense of internal pride. As for embarking on this sort of a campaign again, she said, "This really was meant to be a one time rally thing. We're fully staffed and we believe we were able to recruit people who believe in our mission."

Kandace McLaughlin is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at kmclaughlin@healthleadersmedia.com If you are a marketer submitting a campaign on behalf of your facility or client, please ensure you have permission before doing so.
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