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Caring for Healthcare Careers

We know there’s a huge demand for healthcare careers in our region, but which careers exactly are the most in demand, and what is that demand? Well, I had a chance to sit down recently with Courtney Newgard, UnityPoint Health – Peoria Talent Acquisition manager, to investigate what these critical careers look like.

“Actually, one position we have difficulty finding people for is in our credentialing area, these are people who work to make sure our providers are in compliance so that they may practice, most often this individual has a degree in healthcare administration and is a Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist or is an RN who is looking for an opportunity that isn’t bedside; but we have a hard time finding people with these qualifications,” Courtney explains.

“But, as you can imagine, our largest number of openings are for Registered Nurses (RN’s), in fact, we have around 27 openings for various RN positions right now, but we also have a need for technical positions like pharmacy techs, lab techs, x-ray techs, and lots more. And, we can’t forget our entry level positions like Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Medical Assistants, and Food Services as they’re always needed and are a great way to start the path to a healthcare career!”

That’s right, UnityPoint Health – Peoria, as most healthcare organizations do, offer their employees a number of ways to ‘move-up’ and pursue different careers offering tuition reimbursement, loan forgiveness, and sign-on bonuses for those most in-demand healthcare careers. There’s certainly no shortage of employment opportunity, and with Illinois Central College, MidState College, and other technical programs, there’s no shortage of educational opportunity. So what’s the challenge in finding qualified healthcare professionals?

“Honestly, it’s not a problem finding people who are qualified, having their technical skills, but it’s been a challenge to find people who have the depth of experience that we need and who are a cultural fit for us. Most often we have to do some more training for new employees, instead of it being a seamless transition. One of the ways we’re looking to improve on this is by creating a 12-week immersion program for recent nursing school graduates to expose them to the different specializations to help them find where there passion is,” Courtney says smiling, “we’re running a small pilot this summer and will continue with the upcoming winter and spring graduates.”

Ultimately, UnityPoint Health – Peoria is looking for qualified professionals who embody their core value of patient service first. “It doesn’t matter if are in HR, in food service, or are a doctor, if you’re in the hospital you are part of a patient’s experience and we’re looking for people with the soft skills that will ensure we’re successful in providing the best experience for our patients.” If you’re interested in finding our more about the opportunities available through UnityPoint Health – Peoria you can visit their website at

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