Puerto Rico’s medical (and all other) infrastructure, in the aftermath of last fall’s Hurricane Maria, is still so bad that many of the island’s nurses have been unable to work. These highly trained professionals are doing whatever side jobs they can to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.
A recent article in ROI-NJ.com (Return on Information New Jersey), profiled efforts by Bayada Home Health Care to recruit some of these nurses and put them to work in Minnesota, which has a nursing shortfall.
At a recent recruiting event in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bayada interviewed 100 interested nurses, signed contracts with 26 of them, and are in negotiations with an additional 12. They continue to get inquiries almost every day.
“In exchange for a commitment of a year to 18 months…Bayada will provide compensation and benefits on par with current employees in the state, as well as cover the cost of airfare, provide 30 days of free housing and offer a mentor to help acclimate the nurses to the region…We look forward to welcoming these men and women, and many of their families, to Minnesota, and we are doing everything we can to ensure they enjoy a smooth transition into our community, including the assistance of a stable and reliable support system of fellow Bayada employees, friends and neighbors.”
Since Hurricane Maria devastated the US territory, a large number of Puerto Rican residents have fled to Florida and other US states where they have family or other ties. The island’s situation is still so bad that almost anyone who can leave is doing so. What effect this flight will have on the future of what Leonard Bernstein wrote was “You lovely island, island of tropical breezes” is unknown. For now, Bayada has found a way to help cover their staffing problems and give highly trained nurses a chance to do the work they are trained to do.
Brain-drain or win-win? You decide.
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image from cnn.com.