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Giving Back, Getting Paid - Helping Nurses Return to the Hospital Workforce

News Despite a population base of over 38 million, one vital profession is significantly underrepresented in the nation’s largest state: nurses. Per capita, California has the least number of nurses in the country, while Kern County has the fewest in California. Translation: Kern County hospitals are in desperate need for more experienced nurses.

Enter the Re-entry RN Program at San Joaquin Community Hospital. Designed specifically for nurses that have four or more years of hospital experience but have been out of the field for at least four years, the program, explains Program Manager Krystal Ball, is a refresher to life in today’s hospital climate.

“There are educated, experienced nurses that are looking to get back in the field but have no idea where to start,” Ball said. “Through clinical orientation, refresher courses and hands-on skills labs, the Re-entry Program offers them the chance to easily transition back into the workforce.”

In addition to the four-year experience and time parameters, nurses wishing to enter the program will be required to commit to full-time employment (three, 12 hour shifts per week) at San Joaquin Community Hospital for at least one year after orientation is complete.

“Really, this is a win-win,” Ball said. “It allows inactive nurses to readapt into a high-paying, flexible profession while also providing [SCJH] with high quality, experienced caregivers.”

Re-entry classes for 2009 begin in January and April.