- Allina Health said it would hire 1,400 nurses from across the U.S., after the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) called off contract negotiations on Monday, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported.
- The staff-up will allow Allina to continue performing surgeries and other services at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Mercy Hospital and United Hospital, in the event MNA member nurses go on strike.
- The association ended talks with the health system after the two sides failed to make progress with a federal mediator.
To attract nurses, Minneapolis-based Allina is offering prospective candidates free travel and a $400 bonus. The system has engaged employment agencies to help in its search.
According to the American Nurses Association, recruiters want professionals who are willing to relocate and work in a variety of disciplines. They are also looking for people with bilingual skills, computer know-how, including EMR, quality assurance knowledge and critical thinking skills.
Nursing shortages can quickly drive up costs for health systems, as a recent Scottish report shows. The report, by Scotland’s Information Services Division, found spending to hire nurses to cover shortages in one National Health Service region rose from £5 million in 2011-2012 to £7.9 million in 2015-2016.
The number of hours nurses clocked also increased during the period, from 335,000 to 435,000, leading the Royal College of Nursing Scotland to declare the costs unsustainable, Dunfermline Press reported.
“This clearly shows that health boards continue to struggle to fill permanent nursing posts and are having to resort to expensive agency nurses to fill the gaps,” RCN Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe told the newspaper.