May 17, 2023
The healthcare community is recognizing the power of nurses, and they are aspiring to new heights. Medical schools are producing more graduates qualified to practice nursing, but they often do not stay in the field of nursing. In 2003, U.S. News & World Report recognized that a shortage of trained nurses existed across all specialties and subspecialties, including critical care and pediatrics. It is predicted that by 2020 there will be 200,000 openings for registered nurses in the US (1). If these numbers seem unbelievable to you, keep reading…
The nursing shortage is real, and it’s not going away anytime soon. The demand for nurses is also growing, which means hospitals are looking to hire more new staff members. But how can you keep the talent pipeline open and get new nurses on board? With millions of people leaving their careers in the next several years because they’re retiring or wanting to move on, it’s difficult to find enough nurses to fill the need. How can hospitals attract potential nurses who might have dream careers but no idea what they want to do after being out of school for so long?
Those challenges prompt the healthcare community to take its assessment back one step further: how should healthcare facilities and nursing schools attract nursing candidates in the first place?
Let’s explore 5 strategies to do just that:
1. If you’re a nurse looking to advance your career, hospitals and healthcare facilities can help with that too. This is the new era of healthcare work, and nurses want more than just a job. They want a career. And they want it with employers who value their skills and talents. Providing opportunities for nurses to learn new things and grow their careers will attract them to your facility as well as keep them there as long as possible.
At DirectShifts, we connect healthcare facilities with nurses who want flexible, on-demand shifts. Our healthcare staffing marketplace platform allows facilities to address fluctuating patient volumes and allows modern nurses to take command of their work-life balance. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, nurses are taking note. They want to be part of this change and are ready for it. Nurses want flexibility in their work-life balance, and they want to be able to make choices about when, where and how long they spend on the job. They want a workplace that is safe, healthy and rewarding.
2. Promote a positive work environment: New nurses want to feel valued and respected in their workplace, but this doesn’t happen automatically. Nurses are the most valuable workers in healthcare, yet they have the shortest tenure. It’s up to you as an employer to create a workplace that fosters growth and development over time.
3. Provide flexible scheduling options: Nurses want to work when they want to work, and they don’t want to be placed at the bottom of a long list of hourly employees who receive less compensation than they deserve because they need more time off due to caregiving responsibilities. They also don’t want to feel like they have no choice but to accept shifts that are below their skill level or pay grade because those shifts will be offered first (and often only) by your facility’s unionized nurses who get paid more than newer nurses who haven’t yet earned the same level of seniority or experience.
4.Facilitate the hiring process: You can’t attract new nurses if they don’t know you exist. Your recruitment and onboarding process needs to be clear, concise, consistent and supportive of their needs. You need to make your organization easy to navigate — a place where nurses want to apply and keep applying.
5. Hold regular events: Nurses want to feel like they're part of a community. That's why holding regular events is so important for attracting new talent and retaining current employees. At DirectShifts, we understand the challenges that facilities face when it comes to recruiting nurses and connecting them with jobs that fit into their busy schedules. We host fun events, townhalls, on demand online events, happy hours each month so nurses have plenty of opportunities to network with others and us in their area who share similar interests be it their career aspirations, their motivations, goals or any challenges they want to share. It a great way of bonding with our clinicians professionally and personally.
Develop a work environment that earns trust, celebrates and listens to nurses, and sets each team member up for success. Foster initiatives that consistently support this approach from top leadership down. This will help not only build a more engaging culture, but it will also allow you to build nurse ambassadorship. Collaborate with these ambassadors on referral programs, marketing projects, and outreach programs to attract new nursing candidates and amplify the voices of professionals.
Your facility has committed to supporting a set of core values. That’s a great first step! Now take action in practical ways that show nursing candidates your facility invests in what is important to its patient community and to its team. Measure efforts consistently - and transparently - to ensure accountability.
Having these programs can help your facility engage with new nursing candidates and its current workforce. Staffing managers can communicate internal openings and per diem shifts to more candidates through nurses’ connections. Internal nurses can take a proactive approach in building their work community. New nursing candidates will have the opportunity to learn about the culture and feel more supported in making a decision to join the field.
Your hospital or health system facility has talent in its own backyard. Kick off marketing efforts that focus on identifying local candidates. This may include sponsoring community events, connecting with area schools, and exploring compensation and perks other organizations close by offer. At DirectShifts, we actively recruit healthcare professionals with clinical experience and who seek local, flexible on-demand shifts. Partnering with us can support your community connection efforts and further strengthen your talent pipeline.We’ve got more on attracting new nurses to the field and how your facility can tackle recruitment and retention. With a financially sustainable model, DirectShifts creates an "Uber-like" experience for healthcare employers who can easily find pre-verified and pre-credentialed candidates from a pool of 850,000+ clinicians at nearby locations. When you need support, you’ve got DirectShifts’ team to help streamline your administrative tasks of setting standard rates, credentialing, training, onboarding, timesheets, billing, etc. at your fingertips 24*7.