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Ada County Jail offers $5,000 hiring incentive for nurses

The current nursing staff will also get the same bonus to acknowledge all the work they have done over the last two years.

BOISE, Idaho — The Ada County Jail is offering a $5,000 incentive to try to attract new nurses and keep the ones that they have on staff. 

Right now, the jail is looking for 15 nurses. Here’s how the bonus will work: New hires will get $1,000 when they're hired. Then a $1,500 bonus after six months on the job, then, another $1,500 at their one-year mark. They'll get a final bonus of $1,000 at the two-year mark.

The Ada County Sheriff's Office told KTVB that the current nursing staff will also get the same bonus to acknowledge all the work they have done over the last two years fighting the spread of COVID-19 in the Ada County Jail. 

They added that this incentive is a way to show their nurses that they appreciate them and want to bring more people and relief.

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“I think it's important for people to know that we work in a very unique environment and we offer nurses a chance to make a difference every day with our population and these people are part of the underserved population, so if you have a servants heart and that’s what you're drawn to then this is a great place for you to come and work,” said the Ada County Jail’s health services nurse and supervisor, Lanea Dean. 

A typical day for a nurse at the jail involves passing medications, keeping watch on the most vulnerable people who may be on detox medication or are on suicide watch. There is also a clinic that operates much like an urgent care facility.

According to the sheriff's office, wages for nurses range from about $34 to $49 an hour.

“I think we'd be lying if we said it wasn’t really tough but we're very lucky to have a really good team that comes together and we know that this is just a phase that we're going through and we're rebuilding our team and everyone has stepped up we've made it work, we've figured it out and we're moving on,” said the Ada County Jail’s health service administrator Adrea Nicodemus.

Right now, there is no vaccine mandate for staff at the jail, but they do highly encourage all staff and inmates to get the vaccine. 

The funds stem from the federal American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief funds.

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