January 29, 2023
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA

Sanford Health recruits veterans to nursing field


After 20 years at Sanford Health and working as a South Dakota Army National Guard motor transport operator, Cathy Schuller is well equipped for the job.

“I’ve been able to be a performance nurse, a post-anesthesia care nurse,” Schuler said. “There is something special about taking care of people and making them feel better and more comfortable.”

Now, Kathy, an executive director at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, and associate leaders are looking to recruit other experienced and military members into healthcare – especially nursing.

“At Sanford, you can start in an area and quickly, unless you say verbally about your desires and your goals. There’s a lot of support here to move up in Sanford’s rankings,” Schuller said.

Nursing at the forefront of employment shortages

Led by about 10,000 nurses from Sanford Health and the Good Samaritan Society, Chief Nursing Officer Erica Deborah is on a mission to strengthen the team.

“Our community is really different,” Deborah said. “Nursing is at the forefront when it comes to manpower shortages. We are the most trusted profession but when you look at what Kovid has done for our profession it was really a challenge. “

Men and women transferred from the military can help fill those open positions.

“My dad was actually in the Air Force,” Deborah said. “He had this kind of brain – ‘How do things work? How do I fix it?’

“Maybe that’s why I’ve been so successful and loved Critical Care so much that I love understanding how things work. He got the equipment. I loved the human body and was figuring out how it works and what I can do to make it better. “

The retention rate of veterans is high

Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Paul Wakeman, head of military and veteran affairs at Sanford, is exploring how to attract and develop LPNs, RNs, and more with military experience.

“There are scholarships, there are sponsorships, there are all these different programs,” Wakeman said.

You can even visit a particular website, type in your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code, and see which jobs at Sunford Health and Society match those skills.

“The retention rate for the elderly is high. Veterans actually have higher education rates. When they are hired, a high rate is only shown up to work for those first days, ”Weckman said.

Sanford Health wants to be the employer of choice for seniors. It has been recognized by the Military Times “Best for Waits” list of recruiters and is a military-friendly employer for the third year in a row.

“In the Navy, we call it honor, courage and commitment,” Wakeman said. “When you hire an experienced soldier you will find someone who comes from a culture that has values ​​that we all cherish and want.”

‘The Honor of Serving the People’

To care for the children of older adults, Deborah added that there are a variety of opportunities for those who have left the military.

“It’s about opening our doors and helping them understand that we can be that place. When they move from the military, wherever they are, they can come, they can understand and learn more about Sanford and what we can offer them and how they can continue their careers with us, ”Deborah said.

Growing up at Millbank, Schuller said it was an honor to be part of the 740th transport company. He joined directly from high school and will eventually win the “Best Soldier of the Year” honor.

“I have fond memories of being in the Army National Guard,” Schuller said. “You can find similar traits in the Sanford family because we are all a team. We work in the same way that we work together for a common goal and that is to take care of patients.

“It’s an honor to serve the people, an honor to be in the military and an honor to work at Sunford.”

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Posted in Nursing and Nursing Support, Sioux Falls, Veterans


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