Nursing home offering incentives to help address staffing shortage

Health

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Looking to get much-needed clinicians back into the workforce, Evergreen Nursing and Rehabilitation is taking steps to expedite the process.

The nursing home is offering on-the-spot interviews and hiring for all unemployed nurses and CNAs in an effort to fill open jobs.

Evergreen says it’s currently operating at 60% staffing and has hired fewer than 30 people in the past six months. As a result, they’ve had to centralize all of their patients and staff, with many having to work overtime and extra shifts.

“We typically have about 230 employees in the facility. Right now, what are you looking at? 186,” said the facility’s nursing director, Tara Panciotti.

Panciotti tells 12 News they’re struggling to attract people to the job.

“A lot of the people that will apply won’t show up, or come to the interview and not ever come back for orientation,” she explained.

Because of those issues, Panciotti said Evergreen is doing everything it can to sweeten the deal.

“Interviews same day that you call, if you want to come in,” she said. “We’re offering more frequent orientation times and dates. We’ve offered sign-on bonuses, we’ve increased our rates.”

Evergreen officials say they receive 50 to 80 referrals each day for patients in need of a bed, but because they are so short-staffed, they can’t accept them.

“We’re not admitting more patients than we can care for, so we’re able to care for the patients we have in the building,” Panciotti said. “We’re just not able to offer services to more people in the community.”

According to the American Healthcare Association and National Center for Assisted Living, 86% of nursing homes and 77% of assisted-living facilities say their workforce has worsened since June. Rhode Island also experienced resistance from some health care workers when it came to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

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