Equal parts Recruitment and Retention tactics are the key

Nearly every healthcare organization struggles with recruitment and retention of experienced nurses. The challenges are multifactorial and can include everything from retirement of existing nurses, mergers and acquisitions of hospitals and health systems, poor morale, leadership issues and unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios.

The need for experienced nurses is only going to intensify in he coming years. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for 525,000 replacements nurses in the workforce, bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.05 million by 2022.

Follow these approaches to keep ahead of the curve and attract and keep experienced nurses for your healthcare organization:

Show Me The Money…and a lot more

There is no doubt that salary and sign on bonuses play a huge role in recruitment of top nurses – but don’t stop there. Top nurses are also looking for reasons to love their job including a supportive culture, flexible shifts and continuing education. Don’t forget to tout your healthcare organizations’ benefits especially if you offer a matching 401k, onsite child-care and tuition reimbursement.

Develop Your Own Team (Create your own Farm Team)

One of the best ways to retain experienced nurses is to promote and provide advancement opportunities for your existing nursing staff. Many healthcare organizations offer online fully funded RN to MSN programs in which associate’s degree-level RNs can get their master’s degrees.

You can also partner with area colleges and universities on a nursing advancement program as Texas area hospitals did with the Dallas County Community College District.

The end result of that highly successful program was that In each of the hospitals, about 80 percent of the nurses who have graduated from the program are still employed at the sponsoring hospital, with about 70 percent of those going on to either obtain additional nursing degrees or assume leadership positions.

Nurse Referral Program

If you want your referral program to work, you have make sure that nurses notice it. Remember, this is not like your Employee Referral Policy. Make it like a true marketing program with a distinct beginning, middle and end. Your referral marketing program should have a theme, and it should be marketed to nurses through direct mail, email, posters in high traffic locations and a page on your jobs website.

Host a themed kick off party with hospital administration and have a grand prize for the most referrals given. Following these ideas will be sure to great a buzz and incentivize your experienced nurses to refer their friends.

Positive Work Environment

Healthcare organizations that support family lifestyles and their employees in times of need, quickly gain a reputation for being great places to work. Strive to create an environment of transparent and open communication and ensure that accomplishments by your key nurses are recognized.

When hard work is appropriately rewarded and duly recognized by the management, employees will naturally feel valued by the organization for what they put in. Such mentality is healthy for the healthcare organization because employees will be willing to go the extra mile without worrying about not getting anything in return.

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