Nurses from Philippines expected at Henry Ford as early as summer

Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System said Jan. 19 that its strategy of recruiting nurses from the Philippines is making headway, with the first nursing cohort expected to arrive as early as this summer. 

About 20 to 50 nurses would be part of the first cohort, Eric Wallis, DNP, RN, the health system's senior vice president and CNO, said during a media briefing. The nurses would be assigned to Henry Ford hospitals, one facility at a time.

"As they relocate to Michigan, we want to help build a sense of community and support system around them," Dr. Wallis said. 

Henry Ford announced in September that it was reviving its strategy of recruiting nurses from the Philippines, citing previous similar recruitment efforts.  

At the time, Bob Riney, Henry Ford's president of healthcare operations and COO, told Becker's that those efforts decades ago were successful, with many nurses from the Philippines enjoying longstanding careers with the health system. 

Now, "We are really blessed to have a number of Philippine nurses who we recruited all the way back in the 90s who are still very much a part of our healthcare system who have volunteered to be engaged in this effort, so we can do this even better than it was done 30 years ago," Dr. Wallis said. 

The announcement about the first cohort of international nurses came as Henry Ford reported about 1,000 registered nurse vacancies at the health system.

Henry Ford also reported improved COVID-19 hospitalization and infection rates Jan. 19. That day, 499 people were hospitalized at the health system, down from 551 on Jan. 17. 

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