The New Hampshire Union Leader had an article on how some nursing homes are attracting potential nurse employees. For example, the Grafton County Nursing Home offers $500 sign-on bonuses and a $10,000 loan-forgiveness program for registered nurses.
John Getts, president and CEO of Home Health & Hospice Care, said they offer employee referral bonuses, professional development and other programs to keep nurses on staff.
“We’re all doing the same thing. We’re all trying to do the same thing to offer incentives to bring people on board,” said Craig Labore, administrator of the Grafton County Nursing Home in North Haverhill.
But there’s one big incentive many providers say they are having trouble offering — health benefits. Brendan Williams, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Health Association, said the inability to provide benefits is a common problem among those serving elderly patients at home and nursing home settings.
The state community college system is also trying to encourage students to go into nursing. The state’s community colleges are offering two-year associate’s degree nursing students the opportunity to get a four-year bachelor’s degree at Granite State College at community college prices.
This “pathway” program means a four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing will cost about $38,000. That compares to more than $57,000 at the University of New Hampshire.
With the loan-forgiveness program at Grafton County Nursing Home, a bachelor’s in nursing could be had for less than $30,000. The program began July 1. Labore said so far, only one student has taken advantage of the program; he expects many more this year. He said the forgiveness programs are more effective than sign-on bonuses.
There are also many scholarship opportunities available. The New Hampshire Long Term Care Foundation awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to 45 caregivers in long-term care centers in 2016 alone. The foundation was established to promote the care and wellness of New Hampshire’s elderly.