The Arkansas Children’s Northwest hospital, the first and only pediatric health care campus in the Northwest Arkansas region, may be hiring some UA nursing graduates before the expected opening date in January 2018.
Hospital officials will look to hire 250 employees, including part-time and full-time positions for medical personnel, said Susan Patton, interim director of the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing.
Hospital officials hired six students last year with the intent to train them Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and will relocate them back to Northwest Arkansas when the hospital opens, Patton said.
The UA nursing program sends some graduates to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for a pediatric rotation, Patton said.
A pediatric rotation allows graduates to work with nurses already practicing at the hospital and shadow specific units. This program will be available to graduates at the new hospital once it opens, Patton said.
Hospital officials like to hire UA nursing graduates and in the past have hired 6 - 10 each year, Patton said.
UA nursing graduates work all over the country and world, such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Australia, Canada, Vanderbilt University, Memphis, Texas, Kansas and Missouri, Patton said.
About 20 percent of graduates stay in Northwest Arkansas, Patton said.
Arkansas Children’s Northwest’s will offer 24 inpatient beds, 30 Emergency Department rooms, five operating rooms and 30 outpatient clinic exam rooms, according to the Arkansas Children’s website.
Clinical position openings will include diagnostic imaging, lab, nursing, surgical services, pharmacy, respiratory, social work, child life, nutrition, speech, physical therapy, cardiac sonography and EEG.
An EEG is an electroencephalogram test that tracks and records brain-wave patterns, according to the Mayo Clinic website.
Non-clinical position openings will include administrative, facilities, interpreter services, information technology, materials management, marketing and gift shop.
The hospital is located about 20 minutes away from the UofA, off Interstate 49 across from the Arvest Ballpark in Springdale and will open in January 2018, according to the website.While some UA nursing students will be applying to work at the new hospital, senior Lauren Hart does not plan to apply to the hospital.
“I am not planning to apply at the new hospital because I want to start my career working with adults,” Hart said in a text message. “But I’ll never say never so if an opportunity arises then I may apply there in the future.”
Katie Donovan, a 2014 UA nursing graduate, is excited for the opportunities the new hospital will bring to the area, she said.
“The new hospital will bring expert pediatric care much closer for those patients in the northwest corner of the state so that families do not have to travel all the way to Little Rock to receive the care that they need,” Donovan said.
Donovan works at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver as a registered nurse. She plans on applying to Arkansas Children’s Northwest in the future once she and her husband move back to Northwest Arkansas, and she finishes her masters in nursing to become a nurse practitioner, Donovan said.
“There is definitely a shortage of qualified nurses and a high need for experienced nurses,” Donovan said. “The best part about nursing is the ability to look for and find jobs in many different specialty types.”