Pottawattamie County Supervisors voted 4 to 0 Tuesday to approve a two-year staffing agreement with Titan Medical Group LLC of Omaha to help address a short of county public health nurses.
Maria Sieck, the county’s public health administrator, said the county’s public health efforts have expanded significantly since the county took over public health duties from the city of Council Bluffs, with the expansion resulting in the need for additional nurses.
She said the county has encountered difficulties filling nursing positions because a shortage of nurses has created a very competitive market.
Under the terms of the agreement with Titan Medical Group, the Omaha-based group will provide nurses on a temporary basis to fill vacant county positions for a period up to six weeks while county officials continue their search for full-time employees.
The county will pay Titan $62 per hour for registered nurses, $59 per hour for licensed practical nurses or $50 per hour for certified nurses assistants hired on a temporary basis from the Titan Medical Group.
Sieck said the county currently has openings for a registered nurse to help with the STD program, with the payscale for nurses employed by the public health department ranging from $24 per hour to $35 per hour.
Before voting to approve the agreement, Supervisor Justin Schultz asked if the county’s salary ranges are competitive.
Jana Lemrick, director of human resources, said a study that will be conducted over the coming months by Baker Tilly Virchow Krause will look at the county’s employee classifications and compensation — including those for nurses.
That study, which was also approved on a 4 to 0 board vote Tuesday morning, will cost $67,700.
Supervisor Marilyn Jo Drake was not present for the meeting.