DWM has urgent need for RNs

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2018

D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital has a critical need for registered nurses.

Currently, the hospital needs eight.

“Rural hospitals have always had a hard time staffing,” said DWM Director of Nursing Bob Ellis. “We have nursing schools around here, but there are not a lot from our area who go through the program.”

Ellis said nurses can make as much as they want.

“A young nurse can go to a larger facility and make a lot of money,” he said. “But the cost of living is a lot higher than in Brewton.”

Ellis said the staffing problem isn’t just a Brewton issue.

“I was in a meeting recently and set with people from the hospitals in Brewton and Evergreen and they see the same problem we do,” he said. “Our problem is we aren’t getting applicants.”

Ellis said DWM can compete salary and benefits-wise with other rural hospitals, but struggle to compete with hospitals in Pensacola and Mobile.

To attract applicants Ellis and Autherine Davis of DWM’s human resources department are offering signing bonuses of $1,500 for one year and $3,000 for two-year contracts.

“We provide bonuses, other incentives and additional pay for advanced degrees and working weekends,” he said. “We are brainstorming other things to do.”

Davis said one of the problems they are facing is that Baby Boomers have aged out, and a lot of the nurses who graduated in the 80s and early 90s are ready to retire.

“Replacing very experienced, knowledgeable nurses is hard to do,” she said.

Of the eight openings, there are four on the med surg team, two in the operating room and two in OB.

Keeping nurses for a long time is also an issue they face.

“You will have some who will give a couple of years and go to a bigger facility,” Ellis said.

Davis said DWM is a great facility.

“We try to keep them with ongoing training,” she said. “Nurses never have to leave to the CEUs and they never pay for them. It’s life-long learning. We are investing in our nurses. We provide help getting their BSN after getting their two-year.”

Marketing Director Jason Daniel said DWM offers the same state-of-the-art facility of any community.

Ellis said DWM has electronic health records, as well.

“We have a lab, good physicians and our own ambulance service,” he said.

Nurses works five, 12-hour shifts and are off two-days.

“They work every other weekend,” he said. “There are all kinds of overtime opportunities.”

To apply, visit dwmmh.org and click on the career tab.