Northwell bolsters nursing pipeline at Golden showcase

Northwell exposure: Cohen Children's Medical Center nursing executive Dina Cicillini (right) chats up young nursing students at this week's Golden Ticket Nursing Showcase.

Think of it as a “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”-type situation, only replace Charlie, Veruca Salt and Augustus Goop with about 500 nursing students, and substitute a Northwell Health job fair at a Long Island country club for the Wonka factory. And no chocolate.

But you still needed a “golden ticket” to get in, and those 500-plus soon-to-graduate nursing students – representing multiple Long Island colleges and universities, and others – were lucky enough to score passes to the invitation-only Golden Ticket Nursing Showcase, held Wednesday at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

The day-long event featured top nurse managers and other administrators from 21 hospitals under the umbrella of the New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health system, the state’s largest healthcare provider by number of patients and number of medical professionals.

The Northwell Health representatives met with potential recruits for the health system’s nursing corps, which is in near-constant recruitment mode. Statewide, Northwell employs more than 16,000 nurses – “the life force” of the health system, according to Maureen White, Northwell Health executive vice president and chief nurse executive.

“This is a useful way for prospective employees – nurses getting ready to graduate – to learn more about Northwell and for us to learn more about them,” White noted. “While we’re fortunate to have (only) a 3 percent vacancy rate, we’re always looking for top talent.”

Maureen White: Golden chance.

All told, students from 42 universities – including nursing programs at Molloy College, Long Island University, St. Joseph’s College, Adelphi University, Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University – were invited to the showcase.

Attendees spoke with recruiters from the Northwell Health Talent Acquisition office, visited a Culture Center discussing various Northwell career paths and were exposed to a number of the health system’s various service lines.

Northwell Health, meanwhile, stockpiled a pipeline of potential nursing talent, at a time when nationwide nursing shortages are affecting specialties including emergency medicine, critical care, pediatrics and others.

Among the discussion topics were post-graduate fellowships and various student and new-graduate placement opportunities – including externships, which have proven to be a winning strategy for Northwell Health nurse recruitment: According to the health system, more than half of potential job candidates who go through the Northwell nursing externship program are ultimately hired.

Those are the kinds of results Northwell Health – which has earned prestigious American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Award status at six different hospitals – expects when it schedules its annual showcase, now in its 11th year.

“It’s an important event we hold each year,” White said. “This year’s Golden Ticket Showcase exceeded our expectations.”