Arkansas system sees record month for nurse recruitment

Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock recruited 125 new nurses in July — the largest cohort in the system's 111-year history.

In an Aug. 15 news release, nursing leaders at Arkansas Children's attributed the record to a system-wide focus on teamwork, safety and a comprehensive orientation process. The orientation time is about five months, depending on the speciality, with individualized plans based on experience.

As part of their orientation, new nurses shadow different units to get a better idea of where they want to begin their nursing career. 

"I think being able to experience what nursing is like in an ICU versus an emergency department or med-surg unit is huge because they're going to probably spend a very long time there," said Heather Cherry, DNP, RN, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer. "It’s done different ways across the nation, and it allows that opportunity where nurses can sort of try things out before deciding, 'This is where I want to start as a nurse.'"

Arkansas Children's employs 1,524 nurses across the health system.

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