A Critical Access hospital facing recruitment challenges in rural North Dakota recognized the need to partner with an experienced recruitment firm. Search Consultant Dan Morton successfully placed two high-caliber Advanced Practice Providers in less than 60 days.
The provider shortage combined with rising burnout levels and increased turnover mean that even top-ranked hospitals are likely to face provider recruitment woes. This certainly was the case for a critical access hospital in rural North Dakota that had just lost its sole Emergency Department provider, a Nurse Practitioner. While one provider vacancy in the Emergency Department in a large, urban hospital might be palatable for a short time, it’s a serious disruption to patient care and an added burden on other busy staff in small, rural hospitals. And, it requires an immediate response.
Despite this hospital’s top 20 ranking among leading rural facilities in the nation, the candidate pool is inevitably small. “There just aren’t many Nurse Practitioners who rank rural North Dakota as their first – or even second or third – most desired practice locations,” says Search Consultant Dan Morton. “Finding one who has the experience to be the sole provider on staff, is a strong cultural fit, and who is willing to relocate starts to sound a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
The CEO knew he had a tough search on his hands and decided early that he needed the assistance of an experienced recruitment firm. “Rural facilities can sometimes be at a disadvantage in provider recruitment. They typically don’t have a dedicated recruiter who has the time and resources to source candidates,” says Regional Vice President Brent Barnacle. “On top of that, they don’t recruit as much as larger facilities and therefore have less experience working with physician recruitment firms. Building trust is critical.”
Of course, every hospital CEO has a slightly different version of what trust means to them. But for this CEO, it meant trusting that the North Dakota Hospital Association had made the right decision in which physician recruitment firm it chose to endorse. After undergoing a vetting process last year, Jackson Physician Search had proven it was the ideal recruitment partner for its member hospitals. The CEO picked up his phone and made the call.
Delighted to learn that our Midwest-based recruitment team had made several placements in North Dakota, his confidence only grew and he decided to partner with Jackson Physician Search.
Mining for Candidates
The client wanted to find a Nurse Practitioner with Emergency Department experience who would be a strong cultural fit with an already successful organization. Dan took on this challenging search and got right to work utilizing the 100% digital recruitment strategy that Jackson Physician Search pioneered.
When crafting the job description, Dan highlighted the hospital’s sparkling reputation, the ability for the provider to enjoy a strong work/life balance, and the abundant outdoor recreation opportunities that the location provided.
Recruiter Presents Six Candidates for Consideration
Over the next several weeks, Dan sourced six very strong candidates for the client to consider. One candidate who rose to the top was a Nurse Practitioner working in Urgent Care in Texas who expressed a high level of interest in both the location and the opportunity.
Within two weeks, the hospital CEO brought her in for an on-site interview and quickly determined that her experience was a fit and her engaging personality would greatly complement the organizational culture. The candidate was very comfortable with the involvement of the CEO and also felt that his engagement was a very attractive part of the job. She was confident that this opportunity would be prosperous for her on many levels.
Striking Gold: Two APP Placements in Two Months
Another candidate who responded to Dan’s outreach very late in the process was an experienced Nurse Practitioner who had a lot of experience in the rural Midwest, as well as sole provider experience. Dan recognized how rare it is to find two candidates who would be willing to work in such a remote location, and reached out to the CEO at the North Dakota hospital to see if there were any additional needs for another provider in Emergency Medicine.
The CEO met with the candidate and decided that Dan had indeed found another great fit. Knowing how important it would be to have another vital member of the Emergency Department team, the CEO created a position for this candidate at a sister hospital located about 40 minutes away.
Dan and the client struck gold, placing two high-caliber Advanced Practice Providers in less than 60 days. Not every search will fall into place as quickly as this one. The key is having a trusted recruitment partner with access to the tools and technology to cast a wide digital net to ensure you are reaching both active and passive candidates who meet your criteria and will be a strong cultural fit.
Candidate acquisition is often the most challenging part of the recruitment process for rural facilities. If you need help sourcing candidates, the Jackson Physician Search recruitment team is here to help. Contact us today.