NURSES who have recently joined the trust are full of praise for a new recruitment system which has helped fill vacancies.
The trust now holds special recruitment centre days – which are an opportunity for nurses looking for a new role to meet and talk to staff in a more informal setting than would be at an official interview.
The trust also has a rolling advert for nursing vacancies so that it is constantly recruiting nurses.
And these new measures have been a huge success – contributing towards the trust reducing its vacancies over the last year from 99 nurse posts to five.
The latest national figures show there are around 29,000 full time vacancies for nurses across the country.
Terri-Anne Paterson and Ashleigh McWilliams are newly qualified nurses who joined the trust after attending a recruitment centre day.
They have both started staff nurse positions in the emergency assessment unit at the University Hospital of North Tees.
Terri-Anne said: “I was nervous before going along to the recruitment centre – but I had no need to be. It was a fantastic event. I had the chance to meet staff from the trust and talk to them about what it was like working there.
“I also met my ward manager there and was able to discuss opportunities in different directorates. Now I’m working on EAU and am really enjoying working with the team and caring for our patients.”
Ashleigh said: “The recruitment centre was far more valuable than a straight forward interview setting. I had the chance to speak to nursing staff, explore what it was like to work in different areas and to find out about opportunities.
“I love being a nurse on EAU – it’s where I always wanted to work and I am really happy here.”
Karen Kelsey, senior clinical matron in the emergency care, said: “We have had some real challenges with nursing vacancies in the emergency assessment unit.
“At one point we had a significant amount of nursing vacancies in the unit.
“Recruiting for nurses is a challenge anyway but there also seemed to be a perception from nurses that it was a really busy and unglamorous place to work.
“We find it that once we show people what it’s like to work here, they really enjoy their work – it’s a fantastic, supportive team and they have the chance to make a real difference to patient care.
“The recruitment centres were a great way of us getting our message across to nurses. We also had various initiatives including a new induction day for new starters where we can explain about their developmental opportunities with us.”
Emma Roberts, assistant director of nursing, workforce and professional standards, said: “The recruitment centres have made a really significant difference.
“As part of this new process, the trust has a generic application form for nurses.
“Nurses only have one interview in the trust in one of our recruitment centres to ensure they are given the best possible opportunity to develop in their nursing career.
“There is also financial benefit – by filling vacancies we are able to reduce our use of bank and agency workers, which has a positive impact on patient care.
“Despite the success we’ve had in reducing our vacancies, there are still many opportunities for recruitment including rotational posts, static posts and seasonal posts.
“The trust is proud to be nationally recognised for its good practice in recruitment, it’s a fantastic achievement.”
To find out more and to apply to be a registered nurse at the trust visit here