Riverside Community Hospital Launches Campaign To Attract Nurses by Highlighting Availability of Affordable Housing
Riverside Community Hospital has launched a $600,000 marketing campaign designed to recruit nurses from neighboring communities by highlighting Riverside's comparatively low housing costs, the Orange County Register reports. According to medical experts and housing officials, the campaign "has taken the competition for nurses to a new level," promising nurses in neighboring communities "not just a better deal, but a better life," according to the Register. The Register reports that the median cost of housing in Riverside is $300,000, compared with about $485,000 in Orange County, according to the most recent figures from market tracing firm DataQuick. "Having affordable housing near the workplace is critical to hiring new employees," Ken Domer, spokesperson for the Orange County Housing and and Community Development Department, said, adding, "These very good nurses are being lured away by affordable housing." The hospital also is paying for nurses to earn advanced degrees, and hospital officials hope to recruit an additional 120 nurses through the campaign to help improve care and meet state-mandated nurse-to-patient ratios. Since the campaign was launched in February, the hospital has recruited 81 nurses.
In related news, St. Joseph Health System, which owns three hospitals in Orange County, is working with the Orange County Affordable Home Ownership Alliance to design a program to help keep local nurses and other health care employees from leaving the area. The plan might include an education program to encourage hospital employees to become first-time home buyers. "Until Orange County is able to think about its labor force and how to retain its labor force, we're going to be behind," Maya Dunne, vice president of community outreach at St. Joseph, said (Saar, Orange County Register, 4/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.