NOTE: This message was emailed to all Ballad Health team members from Eric Deaton, chief operating officer for Ballad Health, on June 28, 2022.
As always, it is important to say thank you to each of you for your relentless dedication to our mission, and to our patients. The unprecedented national labor shortage is affecting the entire health care industry, and we know it is being felt throughout Ballad Health. We continue to make extraordinary efforts to reduce the impact of the shortage, but we are not naïve. We know you each see the impact of it daily.
Over the past year, we have reached out to nurses and leaders throughout Ballad Health, in each of our hospitals, as we have sought new ideas based on your experiences. I’m pleased to share with you that among the many good ideas we have heard, and are implementing, is the creation of a new internal nursing agency to help supplement our staffing. Nurses who choose to become affiliated with this agency will fill RN staffing needs across the Ballad footprint and will work rotating assignments in various facilities and units. We believe this agency will be an attractive alternative to outside agencies and will serve only our region.
The new agency will launch Friday, July 1.
Nurses who choose to work through the internal agency will receive:
- Premium pay, non-benefited
- Increased rates for nightshift, non-benefited
- No standby requirements
- No restrictions on where you live in the region
- 403(b) program with employer matching
- Current and next four-week schedules in advance
- 0.9 or 1.05 FTE RN positions
- 12-hour shifts
- And more.
This agency is being provided as an alternative to outside agencies and is another tool for recruitment of new nurses from outside the region. We intend to market this agency to nurses who want to do contract work here, and we will target those who have not worked for any Ballad facility within the previous 90 days. Candidates must have a minimum of two years’ clinical experience, a six-month work commitment upon hire and a valid Tennessee or Virginia RN license.
If you know anyone who might be a good fit, encourage them to explore the opportunity at balladhealth.org/nursing. Don’t forget: Team members who refer a registered nurse with at least one year of experience to work at Ballad Health – not just in our new internal agency – will receive a $2,500 referral bonus.
We also continue to offer benefits and opportunities for our current team members. Months ago, we announced several initiatives – from more than $125 million of annualized investment in wage increases for nursing, nursing support and in other areas, including lab and imaging – to a major effort to increase support for nursing. And as you know, we are paying all team members below the position of Executive Vice President a special bonus, with the second installment set to be distributed July 15.
Earlier this year, we also announced a planned expansion of our current childcare centers, to provide an additional incentive for more Ballad Health team members to receive high-quality, accessible and affordable childcare. Our team is already working to identify locations, with the goal of accelerating the opening of these centers for our team members’ use.
As we work to recruit and retain team members, Ballad Health will still provide full scholarships for any eligible team member who pursues higher education in certain clinical disciplines. Based on the educational program, Ballad Health will cover 100% of tuition, fees and books for team members who pursue higher education for an initial degree in nursing (RN and LPN), imaging, medical technology, surgical technology and catheterization lab technology.
Ballad Health is special because of the people who invest their time, talents and skills in making the Appalachian Highlands a healthy and happy place to live. Thank you again for all you do.
Eric Deaton, FACHE
Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer