Team Taos, an Initiative to Recruit, Retain, and Re-Hire Full-Time Nurses at Holy Cross Hospital

The United States is currently experiencing a significant shortage of registered nurses (RNs) in the healthcare sector. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for RNs is projected to grow by 7% between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This demand is due to a variety of factors, including an aging population, an increase in chronic illnesses, and advances in medical technology that require skilled nursing care. However, the supply of RNs is not keeping up with this demand, which is leading to a shortage of nurses across the country. 

In Taos, like many rural communities, this has led to an ongoing challenge in staffing full-time, local nurses. As a result, Holy Cross Medical Center has historically been forced to hire traveling nurses to offset staffing needs. Traveling nurses have played a crucial role at hospitals throughout the state. While their service is not only necessary, but greatly appreciated, the goal of Holy Cross Medical Center’s new Team Taos initiative is to recruit as many full-time, local nurses as possible. Team Taos can be broken down into three primary goals: 

  • First, Holy Cross will be encouraging nurses that previously worked for Holy Cross Hospital or reside in the community to bring their skills to Holy Cross Hospital.
  • Second, offer current traveling nurses permanent positions.
  • Third, hire as many UNM Nursing graduates as possible and support locals who are pursuing fulfilling careers in healthcare and want to remain in Taos.

The benefits of having a permanent, mostly-local nursing staff includes familiarity with the community and patients, increased efficiency in patient care, strong relationships between our internal caregivers, and a more stable financial footing for the organization. 

Holy Cross Medical Center CEO, James Kiser said, “We fear that many in our community have felt the need to leave to find career opportunities in health care and nursing, but we are now reaching out with open arms and asking folks to take a look at the opportunities we can provide right here in Taos. We have raised the salary of our RN positions above market, and are increasing sign-on bonuses by 20%. In addition to that, my goal is to foster a work culture in which multiple generations of Taoseños feel compelled to join our organization and spend their careers with us, right here in their hometown.” 

The above-market salaries for registered nurses surpasses many other organizations in our region.

Brittany Lamendola, Chief Nursing Officer at Holy Cross said, “I joined the Holy Cross Hospital family as a nurse fifteen years ago, and I am now pleased to serve as CNO. Throughout my time at the organization, many RNs have left to explore different career paths. One of our goals with the new Team Taos initiative is to reach out to all eligible formerly employed RNs and offer them new positions at Holy Cross. We want to build upon our family of caregivers with those that have a connection with our hospital and team. In addition to this, we’re working closely with the amazing team at the UNM Taos nursing program to grow our own, and encourage our community’s youth to explore a fulfilling career in nursing, all while staying close to family and serving their community.”

CEO James Kiser continued, “I believe it’s a bright new era at Holy Cross, and the time has come for all of us to join together as a community to make sure that healthcare remains local.”

If you are interested in pursuing a career at Holy Cross Medical center, please contact Vanessa Garcia, HR Recruiter:  (575) 751-5731   |

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