Career advice

The best of both worlds: improving nurse recruitment in Northamptonshire

An innovative new recruitment campaign is aiming to put Northamptonshire on the map as a top destination for nurses to develop their careers. 
Best of Both

An innovative new recruitment campaign is aiming to put Northamptonshire on the map as a top destination for nurses to develop their careers

In a trailblazing move, a new recruitment campaign is linking four leading healthcare providers with the local university to promote the benefits of Northamptonshire.

Were hoping that the campaign raises the profile of the county as a great place to work and live, says Carolyn Fox, director of nursing, midwifery and patient services at Northampton General Hospital (NGH).

Best of both worlds

Our campaign is called best of both worlds because all the organisations involved are fantastic to work for and we also have great countryside while being close to London.

To showcase the county as a top destination for career development, NGH is working in partnership with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT), Kettering General Hospital

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An innovative new recruitment campaign is aiming to put Northamptonshire on the map as a top destination for nurses to develop their careers 

In a trailblazing move, a new recruitment campaign is linking four leading healthcare providers with the local university to promote the benefits of Northamptonshire.  

‘We’re hoping that the campaign raises the profile of the county as a great place to work and live,’ says Carolyn Fox, director of nursing, midwifery and patient services at Northampton General Hospital (NGH). 

Best of both worlds

‘Our campaign is called ‘best of both worlds’ because all the organisations involved are fantastic to work for and we also have great countryside while being close to London.’ 

To showcase the county as a top destination for career development, NGH is working in partnership with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT), Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, mental health provider St Andrew’s Healthcare and the University of Northampton. 

The campaign is set against a background of national nursing shortages, with the RCN estimating as many as 40,000 posts are unfilled in England alone. ‘We’re in a similar position to many other NHS organisations,’ says Ms Fox, highlighting paediatric and theatre nursing as areas where they are particularly looking to bolster numbers. ‘But we have opportunities for people across the board.’ 

Pool of talent

In practice, while each organisation will compete for staff, they are working together to attract a much bigger pool of potential talent. ‘We’re also focusing on retaining staff,’ says Ms Fox, who joined the hospital two years ago. 

Among their specific initiatives is being the first UK hospital to affiliate with an internationally recognised programme for nursing and midwifery standards, called Pathway to Excellence.

‘It’s about creating a culture where nursing staff can grow and develop,’ says Ms Fox. They are also one of the first to introduce the international DAISY award, honouring skilful and compassionate nursing care. ‘I have a real drive to recognise and celebrate the great things that nurses do every day,’ she adds. 

Practice development

In addition, each division at NGH has its own team who organise a range of tailored practice development opportunities. There are also accredited university programmes and specific development programmes for those at bands 5, 6 and 7, plus the RCN’s own leadership programme for more experienced staff. 

‘There’s a real mix of exciting things people can pick from – for both their personal and professional development,’ says Ms Fox. ‘Staff nurses are the bedrock and our future and we want to invest in them.’  

Transport links

Ward matron Amy Johnson has been a registered nurse for 14 years and is currently employed by NHFT. ‘It’s a great county to work in and there are huge opportunities for nurses here,’ says Ms Johnson. ‘Northamptonshire has the best of both worlds – amazing countryside, but also close to motorways, airports and train services, linking it to the rest of the UK.’

Investing in staff development is also high on NHFT’s agenda. ‘During my time working here, I’ve never been refused time off for training or been turned down for a course,’ says Ms Johnson. 

To find out more about the best of both worlds campaign click here


Lynne Pearce is a freelance health journalist 

 

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