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Tips for hiring and retaining Nurses


Hospital nurses are some of the most versatile types of nurses, usually able to deal with traumas and minor medical problems, alike. They can work in a range of departments and usually know a little bit about each area of the facility. They are often the ones on the front lines, pushing their sleeves up, digging in and doing everything possible to save, extend, enhance and fight for life on a regular basis.

However, even with hiring practices in place, nurse managers have realized they have to be creative and competitive when it comes to attracting quality nurses to open positions. Gone are the days when people were simply anxious to break into the field with any job now, hospitals are offering competitive salaries and benefits packages to potential nurse employees.

The goal in mind is to attract the best of the best. Here are some tips on exactly how to recruit a top-notch nursing staff:

Establish a nurse-patient ratio:

Hospital nurses are notoriously overloaded during their course of employment at any given facility. In fact, this is one of the biggest factors in terms of high turnover among nurses in this healthcare setting. To combat it, set a limit on the number of patients a nurse can take care of during the course of one shift. Not only does this ensure better patient care, but it also allows the nurse to properly do their job without cutting corners to meet a patient care quota.

Maintain an open-door policy for your nurses:

Allow your nurses to bring problems to administrative staff at any time. By encouraging them to do so, the level of morale among the nursing staff will remain high and your hospital will develop a reputation as a positive, supportive place to work.

Offer a competitive salary/benefits package:

Be competitive among other facilities in your area as well as within the industry as a whole. While this is more money out of pocket, it is well worth the investment for the skilled nurses you will be more likely to attract.

Encourage continuing education and offer incentives for doing so:

Continuing education for any professional nurse is a good idea as it allows them to learn the latest innovations within the healthcare industry. However, it is even more imperative for hospital nurses to take advantage of these opportunities as they see such a large quantity of patients with different types of ailments and illnesses. Therefore, have incentives in place that encourage your hospital nurses to take continuing education classes and receive various certifications.

Set up internship programs with local nursing schools:

Work with local nursing schools to take on interns each semester. Not only will this allow you to see the top talent in your local area, but it will also build goodwill within your community and establish your hospital as a training ground for future nurses. This could be beneficial in a number of ways, including opportunities for grants, a reputation for training skilled nurses and a way to give back to your community.

Accept resumes continuously:

Always accept resumes, even if they are submitted for positions that are currently filled. This will give you a cache of resumes to pull from should a position become open abruptly. Moreover, be sure to have some form of communication for those resumes that you receive. Even if it is just a quick email or phone call to acknowl edge the resume submission. Many nurses say that sending their resumes in to a hospital is akin to sending it through a black hole. This turns off potential candidates. Even if the hiring process will be lengthy, ensure that you acknowledge the receipt of the resume.

Just say no to voicemail:

ADo a thorough check of your human resources and/or nurse recruiting department to ensure that staff members are accessible. The last thing you want is for a qualified professional nurse to inquire about a position in your hospital, only to get a voicemail every time they attempt to contact someone in the human resources department. Moreover, designate one or two point people to take regular calls regarding employment. There is nothing more frustrating than for a nurse to call inquiring about an open position only to have to go through six different people to get the right person for the job. Nurses deserve to talk to a human resources representative each time they call, so keep that in mind when you are staffing your human resources or recruiting department.

Jazz up the job description:

Sure, nursing is just like any other profession in terms of the fact that there are both positive and negative aspects of the job. And just like other professions, the idea is to highlight the positives in the position and make candidates aware but not focused on the negatives. Write out the nursing job description like you would a piece of marketing collateral. Play up the aspects of the job that are truly great and the benefits that get your current employees excited about working in this particular facility.

Enlist the help of the head honcho:

Have the top administrator or CEO of the facility contact potential candidates and invite them to join the team. You will be amazed at how effective this is when it comes to recruiting qualified nursing staffers.

Sponsor a conference or seminar:

Put together an amazing nursing conference and hold it at your facility. Those nurses that are the best in their field usually stay that way by constantly educating themselves on the newest trends in patient care. This means that by holding a conference of some sort, you have a chance at hosting some of the best professional nurses in your region. Give those in attendance a tour of the various departments and put a spotlight on the ones that are currently hiring new nurses. Subtly show them exactly why they need to be working for you!

Google potential candidates:

You use Google for just about everything else; why not for finding great nurses? Type in a search for the resumes of local nurses (using zip codes in your area) and find those that have a fabulous resume and live within driving distance of your facility. Send them marketing and employment information about your hospital and be sure to follow up within a few weeks.

Offer a tryout:

Ask a nurse to spend a week during a vacation from their current job or even a weekend working in your facility. Once they have had an opportunity to work with your team and gauge how your department is run, the likelihood of them accepting a position increases.

Have a contest among your current staff:

Since it is likely that your nursing staff is quite knowledgeable about other nurses in the area (including things like who is among the top talent, who is lazy with bad work habits, etc.), hold a contest and give your staff an incentive to help you recruit. Make sure that it is friendly and that there is a prize for the person who recruits the highest number of potential candidates.

Contact our travel nurse agency today to find out how NursesPro can help you retain some of the best professional nurses in the industry !