The vulnerable population needs us. And we need skilled individuals to meet that need.
The health care industry, among others, is experiencing a staffing transition. Skilled nursing staff, in particular, is rebounding slowly from job losses since March 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationwide, there are 400,000 open positions — 9,000 in Virginia alone — to close the gap from pre-pandemic levels. A survey of nursing home providers nationwide, released in June by the American Health Care Association, found 87% have moderate to high staffing shortages and 98% are having difficulty hiring staff.
We need to attract and develop new talent and focus on retaining current employees who can transition to long-term care in a post-pandemic society. We aim to recruit caring, passionate team members who want to care for the aging population.
Virginia Health Services (VHS) owns and operates seven nursing and rehabilitation centers and two assisted living communities in Newport News, Hampton, York County, Gloucester and Kilmarnock, in addition to an independent living community in Port Warwick, and offers services in home health care, outpatient physical, speech and occupational rehab and hospice care.
Delivering care rests on the shoulders of our team members, who are the foundation of our organization. It takes skilled, dedicated professionals to perform the hard work of caring for the aging population. We are proud and thankful for our team and we want to help all of our team members succeed and grow.
While staffing agencies temporarily fill the gaps, it is not a sustainable solution due to cost and a lack of consistency. The individuals in our care benefit from dedicated, consistent, skilled staff 24/7. While our pay is competitive, what sets VHS apart from other organizations is that we offer a satisfying career in communities that embrace team members like family.
If a career in health care has ever been appealing, now is a great time to discover your role in long-term care. Positions are available, not only for nursing staff, but in departments including dietary and dining, environment services, administration and accounting.
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At VHS, we often have team members start in one role, such as housekeeping or dietary, and go through our apprenticeship to be a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). They become drawn to working more closely with the residents.
The VHS earn-as-you-learn apprenticeship program is one example of our investment in developing a great workforce locally. It is open to individuals interested in earning their certification to become CNAs. The program also covers the cost of the certification exam after graduation, and will be expanded to dietary and environmental services positions. We have had 68 students graduate from the training.
Our team members have access to a variety of training and development opportunities. We have partnerships with ECPI University and Southern University for discounted tuition for our employees and their dependents. We have in-house training and in services with our education team. Support is available throughout the company to help our team members grow their skills and advance.
And we promote from within. Two team members recently completed the administrator-in-training program and are studying to take their administrator license exams. They are both assistant administrators in our company.
“Something that’s really unique about VHS’s culture is they help you grow and promote from within,” said one of our assistant administrators.
Long-term care needs more individuals to join its ranks. Those in our care and their loved ones deserve the best we can provide to support them living their best life, and that is only through the strength of our team. The team at VHS is dedicated to both investing in developing our workforce, and growing our existing team to serve the needs of our community.