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Graduating nurses from across the commonwealth and beyond took a major step towards becoming an RN within UK HealthCare. 

In what health care leaders called a “transformative milestone,” nearly 200 graduating students were given the opportunity to interview with hiring leaders from Chandler, KY Children’s, Good Samaritan, the Markey Cancer Center and Eastern State Hospital.  Interviews were scheduled based on student’s career interests as well as offering them an opportunity exploring areas they may not have yet considered. 

In total, UK HealthCare conducted 1,431 interviews with 191 candidates both in-person and virtually, showcasing UK Healthcare's commitment to not only enhancing the career paths of emerging nurses but also ensuring the continued excellence of patient care within the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond. Being able to meet with that many departments in such a short period of time was an incredible opportunity, students said. 

Ashtynn Potts, a BCTC student who graduates in May, was alerted to the interviews by one of her clinical instructors. She liked the setup and how she was able to take part in interviews with several departments in one session. 

“It was really fast and convenient. They just have everything here at once,” said Potts, who had eight interviews scheduled. “I think it’s a really good opportunity. They assign you to places that you may not have thought to interview with before, and then you get in there and talk to the managers and find out that you really like it.” 

Josie Turner, a BCTC Winchester student, said seeing her peers also exploring their career opportunities made the day a bit less stressful. 

She liked “getting to meet with all of the different managers and meeting all the other people who are applying today, knowing we’re all in the same boat,” Turner said. “It’s really nice, very open.” 

Managers also praised the event and the organizers. 

“Despite having over 1,400 new grad interviews to schedule, Nurse Recruitment did an amazing job making sure everything went smoothly and efficiently,” said Ronnie Duerr, PCM, Emergency Services. 

“The event was well organized, and the interviewees seemed excited and engaged,” added Sarah Casteel APCM, Emergency Services. 

As an added bonus, candidates were also able to participate in a Coffee with a Chief Nursing Officer session.  

“What an amazing opportunity as a chief nursing officer to be able to connect with our up-and-coming new graduates as they launch their career,” said Kathy B. Isaacs PhD, RN, NEA-BC, the CNO for the UK Children's Hospital and Maternal Services. “I was so impressed with how professional and prepared they were for their interviews. They shared their journey from deciding on nursing as a profession through selecting the patient population they most wanted to care for. I walked away from this experience knowing the future of nursing is bright and in very good hands. 

“At first, I thought, who's going to want to meet and talk with us? We don't want to get in their way, but everyone has given us great feedback that this sort of helped to calm them down, to see the face of the organization and get to just have a conversation.” 

Successful recruitment, onboarding, orientation and training is one way in meeting our obligation of creating the nursing workforce needed to care for residents within the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond. 

The work in new graduate nurse recruitment seasons is not easy, however. UK HealthCare Recruitment is pivotal in hiring more than 100 new graduate nurses each semester. Long-standing collegial partnerships with local and regional schools of nursing in tandem with frequent and meaningful touchpoints with student nurses establishes long-term professional relationships throughout the student’s academic career. 

“UK HealthCare Recruitment is changing the way we recruit new graduate nurses,” said Graig Casada, UK HealthCare Nurse Recruiter. “Previously, the recruitment process for new graduates continued for upwards of 2 to 3 months; our new graduate interview events have decreased the process to three days…a more efficient time period and greater satisfaction for candidates and the hiring manager experience.”