It is no secret that one of the biggest challenges hospital organizations facing is the recruitment and retention of nurses. With 194,500 new RN positions opening each year up to 2030, there are not enough nurses in the market to fill these vacancies.
Now, there are a variety of factors responsible for facilitating this shortage:
- First, the rise in the aging population who will require the type of care delivered by RNs.
- Next, ACCN points out various applicants are dismissed from nursing programs and majors due to a lack of faculty, budgeting limits, and training equipment.
- Professionals are more interested in pursuing a career as NP because of good salary and growth opportunities than RNs.
- Millennials, the future of the workforce, are not attracted to the long, 12+ hours shift that comes with nursing.
That said, WHO World’s Nursing 2020 report also estimates that there will be a shortage of six million nurses worldwide by 2030. With nurses playing a critical role in ensuring high-quality patient care, it is a challenging time for healthcare facilities.
However, if there is a problem, there is also a solution.
In this case, it is time for organizations to pick up their recruitment game with effective strategies and attractive benefits to acquire top talent and retain them for a longer time. Here are seven nurse recruiting strategies to help hospitals and other healthcare facilities can combat nurse staffing shortages.
1. Provide Competitive Salary & Benefits Package
Compensation is a major tactic many workforces adopt to attract and hire quality talent. And for the competitive market of healthcare, where supply is low, and demand is more for nurses, it is of immense importance. There are around 19,500 new RN positions popping up each year without enough employers in the job pool to fill them.
Hence, organizations must acknowledge this competition and be ready to compensate accordingly.It is a known fact that job seekers go where there find competitive salaries.
Moreover, being competitive doesn’t only mean paying more; it also means standing out regardingthe benefits and bonuses nurses seek.Flexible work hours, paid family leaves, tuition reimbursement, and loan repayment programs are a few attractive perks to grab nurses’ attention.
2. Emphasize Professional Development
By emphasizing professional development, organizations can cater to nurses with a growth mindset. It further helps attract quality staff and retain valuable employees who will feel motivated to work and increase productivity.
To achieve this, healthcare facilities can provide new-graduate residency and transition to practice programs, which will help you find and hire nurses for various specialties.
In fact, when you open a job position, lay down the details of programs that will help nurses to advance in their careers. It is another of the great nurse recruiting strategies.
3. Compensate Less Experience with Mentoring Program
Experienced nurses are harder to find and even harder to retain. So, if organizations keep running after them, they will definitely end up with no hiring. The best alternative is to hire fresh graduates and compensate lack of experience with a mentoring program.
It is a strategic solution that will instill newer nurses with the required knowledge and skill, especially in demanding departments like OR, ER, and other critical care units where no one usually hires freshers. Plus, with these programs, hospitals can hire faster and grow their staff by providing opportunities to less experienced nurses.
4. Engage in Multi-channel Recruiting
If you are hiring through one channel, say the Nurse Recruiter website, it will take a lot of time, and chances are you may not find what you need. It is best to engage in a multi-channel recruiting process, such as email marketing, placing website advertisements, investing in nurses databases, and advertising in medical journals to recruit nurses.
Besides, to recruit top personnel, hospital executives can sponsor or organize seminars or conferences in healthcare domains that will address many healthcare practitioners, including nurses. They can reach out to them after the event and have a discussion encouraging them to take an interview at your facility.
5. Bring to Attention Healthcare Facilities Features
Organizations must highlight the value proposition to nurses, that is, the resources and tools at their disposal that help increase their work efficiency. To give you an idea, we have named a few below.
- Automated IV pumps to help speed up nursing processes and allow multitasking.
- Portable monitors to keep an eye on patients, even on the move or attending someone else.
- Smart bed technology that makes tracking movement, weight, and even vital easy.
- Dashboards for faster record keeping and patient monitoring.
By highlighting the support nurses will be provided by the hospital with different devices, you can gain nurses’ attention in your facility and possibly bring them on board easily.
6. Partner with Nursing Schools
Hospital facilities can partner with nursing schools to remove bottlenecks in nursing education. They can offer tuition reimbursement, scholarship, work-study and grants that will give students a strong incentive to seek a job at their hospital or stick to the same if they are already interning.
For instance, take a look at the Missouri State University School of Nursing, which is starting a Mercy Hospital Springfield program called “Earn as You Learn,” allowing nursing students to earn while completing clinical time and assessing whether they would like to work at Mercy permanently after graduation.
You can also partner with other healthcare education-providing institutions because you will find more potential candidatesyou can secure before entering the competitive landscape.
7. Improve Overall Retention Strategies
Research suggests that among the newly licensed RNs, almost 17% change their job after or within the first year, while around 33% will probably change after the second year. Since filing open positions is more complicated, it is best for healthcare facilities to adopt high-end retention strategies.
For this, you should first understand why nurses are leaving in the first place. While there could be many reasons, two pretty known are stress and burnout.
Demanding patients and doctors, long hours, and inconsistent scheduling will inevitably take a toll on anybody and push them to leave their job. While it is impossible to eliminate all factors responsible for these situations, there are some steps you can take.
Go for surveys and feedback and organize trips, outings, and activities to promote a positive and fun work environment.
Anne M Mulcahy states,
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, satisfied, and fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”
It is said that nurses are the backbone of healthcare. This statement is entirely and wholly true. They not only care for the sick and the public, but nurses are advocates for well-being and impact positive patient outcomes. As such, their demand will always be high in the market.
Therefore, now more than ever, it is essential to be clever in your recruitment efforts to hire more nurses and be responsive to their needs.
Focusing on the candidate’s needs, such as a competitive salary, incentives, and a positive work environment combined with multi-channel recruitment, will significantly impact the quality and quantity of nurses you hire.