Hospital system in often-overlooked islands lures nurses with the question: Why not work in paradise?
By IMD Staff and release material
ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I. (March 1, 2007) – Registered nurses in all specialties — including medical-surgical, critical care, nursing management, and certified nurse-midwives — are being sought by Schneider Regional Medical Center (SRMC), a family of facilities providing comprehensive and specialty care in the gorgeous tropical setting of the English-speaking U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to a hospital release, a massive 100-day recruitment effort targeting RNs began March 1 for Schneider Regional Medical Center, consisting of the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital and Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute (opened 2006), both on the island of St. Thomas, and the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center on nearby St. John.
“Exciting professional challenges in these up-to-date facilities are just as attractive to nurses as the spectacular living (conditions),” says SRMC’s Chief Nursing Officer Angela Rennalls-Atkinson, under whose watch the 100 Days recruitment seeks to bring topnotch nurses to the JCAHO-accredited SRMC.
The recruiting climate for nurses is highly competitive nationwide, and jobseekers often overlook the English-speaking, dollar-based U.S. Virgin Islands. Therefore, the initiative seeks to highlight not only the professional opportunities, but also unabashedly stresses the major fringe benefits – the Islands’ natural splendor and convenience as part of the U.S.
“This is paradise,” says Rennalls-Atkinson, simply. “I have worked on the mainland myself. I spent most of my time in New York . One of the things that pushed me here was snowstorms and temperatures below 30 degrees. Anything below 30 degrees is too cold!”
Instead of shivering and shoveling snow, she says, her nursing colleagues enjoy excellent benefits including 19 paid holidays in tropical beauty that’s a winter-whipped Northerner’s fantasy.
Rennalls-Atkinson observes that the staffers also generally enjoy the Islands’ “social climate” — working with ethnically, racially, economically diverse population. And, she says, “a more leisurely pace of life creates dramatically different, more humane and pleasant days.”
Delphine Olivacce agrees. “I first came as a travel nurse, and I immediately fell in love with the people on the island,” says Olivacce, who weighed job offers in Michigan , New York , California , Connecticut , and Ohio before committing to the islands.
“Once I found out it was a U.S. territory, I was more relaxed,” says Olivacce, now administrative care coordinator and clinical nurse educator at SRMC. “I actually worked here for a little while, then left and came back. I worked as a staff nurse, in intensive care, then moved into supervision.”
That range of opportunities, she notes, is a major attraction for nurses who want to grow. “We are a small hospital — a 169-bed facility,” she says. “You have a very strong support structure here. This is a place where you see your chief nursing officer everyday, and you have access to senior leadership every day. It is more family-oriented that most large institutions.”
Registered nurses in all specialties wishing to participate in Schneider Regional Medical Center ’s 100 Days nurse recruitment in may contact Marsulite Cohen at 340-776-8311 ext. 5068, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Schneider Regional Medical Center , 9048 Sugar Estate, St. Thomas, VI , USA , 00802, visit the hospital’s website at www.rlshospital.org.
Images used here provided courtesy of Schneider Regional Medical Center.