Bluewater Health Finds Success with New Recruiting Approach

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 - 8:51am

SARNIA & PETROLIA – March 29, 2022 – A recent recruitment drive is helping Bluewater Health address the health human resource pressures facing hospitals across the province. Approximately 20 graduating nurses will join the hospital after completing their studies this spring, following discussions with the fourth-year nursing students in their final clinical placement in December 2021. Bluewater Health accepts nursing students primarily from Lambton College, Western University and University of Windsor. The students in this hiring cohort are largely from Lambton College.

“This approach has been a huge success for Bluewater Health, allowing us to match specific program needs with candidates’ experiences and preferred areas of practice,” says Shannon Landry, VP of Clinical Support Services and Chief Nursing Executive. “All the graduating nurses who were offered positions accepted roles at the hospital; this is a testament to Bluewater Health’s reputation both in our community and regionally as an employer of choice. We are thrilled to welcome them aboard.”

Some of the graduating nurses will pursue temporary licenses to allow them to practice prior to writing their exam for registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario; others will join the organization after completing the exam and full registration.

This approach will be applied to all disciplines involving placements at the hospital, including all support services in healthcare.

This project is one of several initiatives currently being explored by Bluewater Health in an effort to attract and retain employees, to meet staffing needs and continue to provide safe, quality care to the Sarnia-Lambton community. Other strategies include student placements, working with partner schools to identify recruitment tactics, job fairs, social media campaigns and the Nursing Graduate Guarantee which is funded through the Ministry of Health.

Bluewater Health has also been recently approved for a new Supervised Practice Experience Partnership program which allows for internationally-trained nurses to gain experience and credentials to work in Ontario.

Nurses are in high demand province wide; in 2021 Bluewater Health received 248 applications for 117 RN job postings.

Across Ontario, hospitals have been experiencing a shortage of nursing staff for several years. Upon entering the pandemic, Ontario was short by nearly 22,000 Registered Nurses (RN) compared to the rest of Canada. The nurse-per-capita ratio has been on the decline since 2014, and in 2020 Ontario had the lowest nurse-per-capita ratio in the country, with 665 RNs per 100,000 people. The Canadian average is 814.

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