BOZEMAN — The Billings Clinic in Bozeman is nearing the end of construction. Officials at the clinic say it’s almost ready to be open despite staffing shortages.
Cooley Wingo is the senior community advisor for Billings Clinic and she says it will be open on September 13. The clinic is three stories with exam rooms on each floor. It also has a 24-hour surgical center, urgent care, office space for each physician, and much more.
Community Relations Coordinator Zach Benoit says the clinic is almost ready to go but there is one problem.
“There’s just not a huge pool of people to hire from anymore,” says Benoit. “It’s no secret that we could use more nurses.”
Much like other hospitals around Montana, Billings Clinic is doing everything it can to recruit more nurses and retain the nurses they do have. They now have over 500 open positions between the Bozeman campus and the Billings campus. Billings Clinic is recruiting nurses, physicians, and leadership staff.
As MTN News recently reported, Bozeman Health laid off 28 full-time employees in leadership positions and also terminated 25 positions for hire, blaming the increased cost of labor. They’re focused now on hiring medical personnel including nurses.
“We haven’t had to do something like what we saw with Bozeman Health,” says Benoit. “We haven’t had to take measures along those lines.”
Chief Financial Officer Priscilla Needham says just because Billings Clinic hasn’t had to let go of employees doesn’t mean the clinic isn’t experiencing financial struggles and staffing shortages.
“We’re not immune to that, so we’re trying to look at the best way possible to staff the clinic to meet the needs of our patients and community,” said Needham.
She says the clinic is being innovative and leaving no stone unturned when it comes to recruiting staff, and it’s working.
“Not just nursing, but all of our staffing,” said Needham. “We’re looking at training programs, collaborating with some of the different colleges, and we have quite a few graduate nurses that are on onboarding.”