Gerber Memorial Hosts Nurse Networking Event
“Where do you want to work?”
FREMONT – More than a dozen people strolled into the Fremont Lake Room at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial to learn about opportunities in nursing in a rural, community hospital on Friday. What they got was one-on-one time with Gerber Memorial’s nursing leaders, picking their brains – and tapping more than 100 years of collective experience – about what nurses do at a hospital that has been recognized as a top national rural hospital by the Leapfrog Group two years in a row, in 2015 and 2016.
Dan Powell, director of clinical nursing, medical/surgical and intensive care unit, summed up the theme for the visitors...
...which included nursing students at nearby colleges and individuals who already work in the health field and are exploring making the leap into nursing: “Well, where do you want to work?”
Powell and nursing leaders at Gerber Memorial, as well as Spectrum Health recruiters, say the 25-bed critical needs hospital serving Newaygo County has a high and ongoing demand for nurses: On the day the “Networking with Nurse Leadership” event was held, Gerber Memorial had nine openings for nurses.
“We were pleased to host the event here in Fremont, which provides us an opportunity to showcase our community and our hospital,” said Gerber Memorial Chief Nursing Officer Meleah Mariani. “We are proud of the services we provide and the people we serve. Gerber Memorial nurses have the opportunity to explore a variety of practice settings here at our hospital while also being part of the Spectrum Health family. Gerber Memorial is a great place for nurses to begin or enhance their professional career.”
That sentiment was echoed by Connor Luch, a Ferris State University nursing student who will graduate in May 2018 and has been doing his clinical at Gerber Memorial since May 2016.
“I really like the friendly feeling at Gerber Memorial,” said Luch, a native of Madison, Wisconsin. “It feels like a family here and people reach out to each other. Everyone here really takes the time and care to put patients first, and that may not always happen in larger hospitals.”
Rebecca Bogardus, a nursing student at Montcalm Community College who will graduate with an associate’s degree in nursing in May 2017, said she’s interested in working with both the adult and pediatric areas of care.
“You get a little more experience in a smaller hospital like Gerber Memorial,” she said. “I can reach out to the community about healthy lifestyles, changes and wellbeing. I’d like to play a role in making the community healthier and happier.”
Successful nurse applicants to Gerber Memorial will get a $3,000 sign-on bonus for working an off-shift (or mid-shift) or a night shift. The sign-on bonus applies to nurses who are new to Gerber Memorial.
To showcase Gerber Memorial and its wealth of amenities, services and technology, Mariani also gave the networking event visitors a comprehensive tour of the hospital.