With about 90 positions to fill, Sanford Health is offering $20,000 signing bonuses to qualified registered nurses in North Dakota.
The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based health system is offering the bonuses for its facilities in Bismarck and Fargo to applicants who have at least one year of experience at a medical center and meet other qualifications. The applicants also must commit to work for Sanford for at least three years in order to receive the bonus.
"In North Dakota, you've seen the growth in the major cities in this state and the growth is just greater than the people coming out of training," said Scott Boehm, executive vice president of human resources for Sanford Health in Bismarck.
Boehm said the bonus won't be a "fix-all" for the shortage of registered nurses, but the hope is that it will at least help secure a few new employees. He said he expects the bonus to be offered for another month or two.
Ellen Cooke, chief operating officer of Sanford Healthin Fargo, said the health system is advertising the openings in social media networks.
She said one of the reasons behind the growing demand for nurses is that many more people now have insurance as a result of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In addition, nurses who are part of the baby boomers generation are retiring and others are needed to fill those jobs, she said.
"This time of year, there aren't many graduating nurses, so we're doing this because we need the nurses now," Cooke said.