AHA Promotes Hiring Veterans

The American Hospital Association is marking Veterans Day by publishing tips to help hospitals and healthcare organizations hire veterans.

The American Hospital Association is marking Veterans Day by publishing tips to help hospitals and healthcare organizations hire veterans.

The association has published a toolkit called “Hospital Careers: An Opportunity to Hire Veterans.” The toolkit is available online at aha.org/hiringveterans.

“America’s hospitals know that hiring military veterans is more than just the right thing to do — it’s the smart thing to do,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of AHA, in a press release. “The veterans we hire contribute much more than clinical skills; they have leadership experience that may prove critical for patient care.”

The association notes many veterans leave the service with clinical experience, in addition to general leadership capabilities and other skills. Many veterans have credentials and licenses needed to immediately practice in civilian settings upon their departure from the service.

Despite their credentials, veterans sometimes find it difficult to find employment. While the overall unemployment rate for veterans was 4.5% last month — a rate lower than the national average – unemployment among young veterans – those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan – has remained relatively high, according to The Washington Post.

The AHA was asked last year by the White House to help make hospital executives aware of the qualifications of veterans and encourage them to recruit and hire veterans. The toolkit includes anecdotes about the strengths veterans have brought to their employers, as well as explanations designed to bridge the gap between the military and civilian worlds, such as an explanation of what various military ranks mean and what leadership skills those holding the ranks have demonstrated.

Human resources managers can also get tips about helping veterans transition to healthcare work in the civilian world, and resources to help those without medical education gain the necessary credentials.

More than 20 health groups contributed to the toolkit.

“Skills so essential to leadership — the ability to lead through crisis, to build a team, to think strategically and creatively – military women and men have mastered,” said Pam Thompson, MS, RN, CENP, FAAN, the AHA’s senior vice president for nursing. “This toolkit gives hospitals the tools they need to effectively hire veterans as well as connects hospitals with local organizations for potential partnerships to tap into that talent.”