Just in time for Veterans Day, the American Hospital Association has released a toolkit to help your hospital recruit vets into health care careers.
Hiring a veteran may sound like one of those feel-good things you’d like to do, but probably won’t spend a lot of time worrying about. But it can be a very sound business decision.
Consider this: In 2013, 10,635 enlisted men and women who served in a health care support capacity completed their service. They include 6,307 medics and hospital corpsmen. You’re not going to find many other job candidates with that kind of hard-core experience.
These vets bring other skills acquired through their military experience, like proactive leadership, strategic problem-solving and the ability to adapt and work under crisis conditions. They know how to be part of a team, which is especially critical in today’s care delivery model. And they tend to seek stability so, if the job is a good fit, retention is not a problem.
“The veterans who are hired by hospitals contribute much more than clinical skills,” AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said yesterday when he introduced the toolkit. “They have leadership experience that may prove critical for patient care.”
The toolkit is called “Hospital Careers: An Opportunity to Hire Veterans,” and was developed at the behest of the White House Joining Forces initiative. The AHA led an advisory group that focused on four advanced medical occupations, or AMOs: licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, nurse practitioner and physician assistant.
Hospitals will find an employer checklist with key issues to consider when developing your veterans hiring program. There is advice on how to connect with the veteran community, Web links to transition-assistance programs for each branch of the military, and several best practices established by organizations like Bon Secours Health System that have experience in hiring vets.
“This toolkit gives hospitals the tools they need to more effectively hire and retain veterans, as well as connects hospitals with local organizations for potential partnerships to tap into that talent,” said Pam Thompson, R.N., the AHA’s senior vice president for nursing.
Hiring a veteran of the U.S. military is a feel-good deed, for sure. It also can be a really smart thing to do.