PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) is taking action to address staffing challenges currently impacting the healthcare workforce.
With vacancies and high turnover rates affecting hospitals across the country, BHS has piloted a series of workforce development programs for nursing assistants, physician assistants, licensed practical nurses and nurses licensed institutions designed to develop and create a skilled healthcare workforce here. in the Berkshires.
“There are many in the Berkshires who are looking for meaningful work – they may be just starting out, looking to change or hoping to take the next steps in their careers,” explained Patrick Borek, vice president of human resources. from BHS.
Borek continued, “Our goal is to create a direct career path from education and training to full-time employment in the healthcare industry. We recognize that many strong candidates face personal challenges. that can create huge barriers to employment, and we design our training programs to help reduce those barriers and help candidates succeed.”
For example, BHS covers the cost of all training in its pipeline programs and, in most cases, also pays a full-time salary with benefits to the program participant while they complete their training course so that no candidate has to make the difficult choice between receiving a full-time salary and taking the training required to advance their career.
One of the areas of significant growth in the pipeline has been the Practical Nurse Education Program, which helps train and place candidates as practical nurses at Berkshire Medical Center. Program participants receive three weeks of intensive on-the-job training from a team of expert nurse educators and are eligible to receive full-time nursing assistant salary and benefits as soon as they begin their training. . Upon completion of their training, licensed practical nurses are accepted into full-time nursing positions. The program accepts new applicants every month and recently announced a significant hourly wage increase, in which entry-level nursing assistants can earn up to $25/hr.
“We are thrilled to welcome new practical nurse applicants to this pipeline program that helps connect motivated individuals to meaningful careers where they can make a difference for patients every day,” said Brenda Cadorette, RN, RN. chief at Berkshire Medical Center.
Cadorette continued, “Our practical nurses provide fundamental support to patients and families at the bedside. We are thrilled that this Nursing Assistant Pipeline program recognizes the importance of Nursing Assistants and the incredible value they bring to the patient care team.
To learn more about the Caregiver Education Program and all of our pipeline programs, please visit www.berkshirehealthsystems.org/careerpipeline.
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