Three Texas hospitals were named "nurse friendly" under a new program of the Texas Nurses Association designed to attract more nurses to rural Texas hospitals.
Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, Sulphur Springs; Wise Regional Health System, Decatur; and Tyler County Hospital, Woodville, were the first facilities identified as nurse-friendly in the program.
The program is designed to improve the workplace for nurses and patients at hospitals receiving the designation, thereby making it easier for those hospitals to attract nursing talent.The idea could spread, as other state associations have shown an interest in the effort, said Clair Jordan, executive director for the Texas Nurses Association.
The North Carolina Nurses Association plans to unveil its own program, which is not modeled on Texas', in October, said Sindy Barker, the NCNA's executive director. North Carolina's program will recognize all types of healthcare providers, not just hospitals, Barker said.
The Texas association created the program with assistance from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA, which supplied $1.2 million to help up to 30 rural hospitals get through the application process, though any Texas hospital can apply. Texas Area Health Education Centers, the HRSA-backed state organizations that help schools attract and retain personnel, are helping hospitals meet standards in the 12 areas mandated by the program.
"It was not a slam-dunk. There's a lot to it," said Sandra Jackson, chief executive officer and chief nursing officer for 25-bed Tyler County Hospital.
For 100-bed Hopkins County Memorial, achieving the designation was part of an effort to attract nurses who may be seeking potentially better pay or clinical opportunities in Dallas, which is about 100 miles away, said Carla Shirley, chief nursing officer. Hopkins was not in the grant program and applied on its own, she said.