NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Davis Community, an assisted living community in Porters Neck, is looking to fill 20 positions.
Human Resources Representative Diane Blake said they are in need of trained, educated nurses and caregivers who are certified nursing assistants.
Blake said traditionally most nurses gravitate towards pediatric and hospital care positions. As a result, nursing homes and geriatric care facilities are overlooked. She added geriatric care is not the focus for local community colleges.
Davis Community Nursing Director Cindy Edgell agreed.
"What we are seeing is, in the nursing curriculum in the community colleges and universities, is there is much more emphasis on Surge med than there are in clinical rotations out in the communities," explained Edgell. "Gerontology is a required curriculum but it's reduced to just a few weeks and then only a couple of days per week."
Edgell said one way the Davis Community is helping to bridge the gap is by being a teaching campus and emphasizing education.
"The nurses really need to be kept abreast with psychopathology, new techniques, bedside practices and we pride ourselves in those areas," she said.
Edgell said they sponsor their own curriculum and teach their own med aid program, CNA Caregiver, and have eLearning available to them.
Blake said another reason geriatric caregivers and CNAs are in short supply is because those individuals are being attracted to labor industry positions due to higher initial pay.
"Typically for us with no experience its $10 per hour," Blake said when asked what the starting salary is for those positions. "In the services industry, as they begin to come in this area, they are also competing for that same labor market and that same salary such as Wal-Mart, who has just come in our area and it has pulled some of those individuals for the money."
The Davis Community said they are having a career fair on Feb. 25. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can apply now at www.thedaviscommunity.org.