BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A local hospital is now working to address a need that was a big part of a recent walk-out.
Nurses at Mercy Hospital went on strike for weeks, late last year.
The healthcare workers fought were fighting for higher wages in their new contract, but also for more staff to reduce the burden on the people who work there.
Now, the hospital is getting ready to talk to job applicants.
Prospective nurses looking to step into their nursing careers can plan ahead for Wednesday's hiring event, hosted by Catholic Health.
Buffalo Riverworks will be the hub for an on-the-spot hiring event for nurses, nurse assistants and immediate treatment assistants.
Catholic Health director of talent acquisition and retention, Julie Mungo said, "Which really focuses on nursing students. It's a great opportunity for students to get their foot in the door, and really start their careers with us as they're going through nursing school."
Those looking for roles are asked to fill out a short application at CHSBuffalo.org/Riverworks.
The event will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are also welcome to fill jobs at Mercy Hospital.
Mungo added, "Right upstairs, we will have the open interviews. We will have employees to greet them. There will be a waiting area, they can sit down and meet with a hiring manager. If they meet the requirements of the job, they'll come right over to my team. We'll give them an on the spot offer and then get them on their way."
The hiring event comes at a time when the hospital workforce nationwide has dipped by about 90,000 people since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020, according to preliminary November data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Last fall, as part of a deal to end a strike by the CWA, Catholic Health agreed to hire about 250 workers to address staffing shortages.
When we went on Catholic Health's jobs website for Mercy Hospital, nearly 230 positions were shown. About 120 of those are for registered nurses
Mungo told Pheben Kassahun via Zoom, "Healthcare in general, there is a national shortage right now. Catholic Health is doing everything they can to bring individuals into our buildings. Right now, with COVID and the pandemic, there were many individuals that retired early. There were many individuals that decided they were many individuals that decided they were in a different line of business."
Adequate staffing impacts patients from patient safety to patient outcomes.
Mungo said, "We've had in our orientations, over 100 individuals that have joined Catholic Health. We actually have our own nursing staff participating this open interview event. Catholic Health will have senior leaders there, we will have hiring managers there, we will have nurses that can really talk to what the job is."
The hospital system is looking for future employees to fill night shifts. Night shifts run from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
She added, "We are trying to come up with innovative programs that can really make it easy for an applicant to come in with us. The other offering would be, we're offering the bonus. Normally, our bonuses are up to $25,000. For the first 15 individuals that are hired for a night shift, we will provide them with an additional $5,000."
Additionally, if you know a nurse or a dietary person, you can refer them to Catholic Health. If they get hired, you will receive up to $5,000. You do not have to work within the hospital system to make this referral. Referrals can be done at CHSBuffalo.org/Referral.