Clinical Recruiter Jim Nicholas Named 2023 PACEP David Blunk Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award Recipient

The workplace dynamic in every industry has shifted over the last several decades as it pertains to the retention of employees. There are fewer people who feel inclined to dedicate their life’s work to one employer or even one industry. The fluidity of jobs allows for more variety in the grand scheme of a lifelong career, yet there remains a small group of those who find their niche early on and commit to both the job and the organization. This rings true for US Acute Care Solutions (USACS) Clinical Recruiter, Jim Nicholas, who has been involved in the clinical recruiting field for 35 years, spending 25 of those with USACS.


“Clinical recruiting is what I know and love,” said Jim. “I thought at one point early on in my career I would transition to an administrative or human resources role in the hospital setting as my degree is in health planning and administration, but what I found is recruiting is my true love and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else.”


Jim was one of the first employees of a USACS legacy group and served as the only clinical recruiter for several years as the organization grew. During this exponential growth period Jim filled the roles of Assistant Director of Recruiting and then Director of Recruiting as the clinical recruiting team expanded. Not only was Jim one of the first employees, but he also was the first employee to work remotely.


“I first met Dr. Bagnoli during his residency then later began recruiting for him as the legacy group started to grow,” said Jim. “During that time, Dr. Bagnoli extended numerous invitations to come work with him full-time, but my family was, and still is, based in the Pittsburgh area so I wasn’t looking to move away from my home base. I didn’t foresee the opportunity panning out, then Dr. Bagnoli pitched the idea of working remotely and I never looked back.”


Since then, Jim has been a leader for both the clinical recruiting department and the organization. He currently serves as a clinical recruiter, managing the USACS Pennsylvania sites through a joint venture with the Allegheny Health Network, Allegheny Health Network Emergency Medicine Management (AHNEMM) and recruiting for the STAT Traveling Physician program. His expertise of the field and his ability to develop meaningful connections and relationships with each physician he introduces to USACS is second to none.


“I deeply care about each of the physicians I work with, and I make it my own personal mission to help them find the right job,” said Jim. “The USACS model of physician ownership encourages personal investment in the organization which helps provide an enhanced sense of purpose. I believe in the model, and I believe in helping physicians find career satisfaction. I have also developed lasting friendships with many of the physicians who have joined the USACS family over the years and I feel very invested in their lives, personally and professionally.”


In his role of recruiting for the USACS sites in Pennsylvania, Jim stays actively involved in the Pennsylvania chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) with this year marking his 36th consecutive year of attendance at their annual meeting. Over the last 36 years, he has built substantial relationships with the leadership team of the Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians (PACEP) and has contributed his time and expertise to their programming. Given Jim’s dedication to the physicians of emergency medicine and to PACEP, his nomination to receive the David Blunk Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award was a well-deserved honor.


David Blunk served as the Executive Director of PACEP from 1979-2015. The David Blunk Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the practice or knowledge of emergency medicine in an impactful way or has been an extraordinary advocate on behalf of emergency medicine in Pennsylvania. After decades of dedication to emergency medicine physicians in Pennsylvania, Jim was named the recipient of this prestigious award and was overcome with gratitude upon receiving the news.


“Winning an award in the name of David Blunk is such an honor, and I am still blown away they chose me for this award,” reveled Jim. “The icing on the cake was learning about and being presented with the award from the Immediate Past President of PACEP, Chadd Kraus, DO, DrPh, MPH, CPE, FACEP, who is a long-time friend of mine. I am still overwhelmed with gratitude, and this award is truly the biggest honor by a large margin of my professional career.”