Nurses play a vital role in America’s healthcare system. However, the U.S continues to stare down devastating nursing shortages that have exacerbated existing workplace fatigue and spiked employee turnover. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing sector requires 11 million additional nurses to overcome this shortage.
Compounding this issue is the COVID 19 pandemic, which has stretched the small number of nurses to the absolute limit. As a result, meeting the current and future nursing demands isn’t easy, and healthcare executives have to develop creative solutions for nursing shortages.
Recruiting travel nurses
The demand for nurses in COVID-stricken areas is at levels unseen before. Many healthcare organizations are in dire need of nurses during this crisis period. But how is an employer to recruit nurses?
A short-term solution is onboarding travel nurses. These are nurses recruited by independent agencies and can travel to new healthcare centers. To find the ideal travel nurse, you need to utilize resources like the Fusion Marketplace that help healthcare professionals connect with highly experienced travel nurses.
Invest in training and professional development
Facilities seeking to maintain long-term relationships with their nurses might consider investing in training and professional development. In-service training is vital to ensure nurses improve their skills and adapt to innovative technology.
The training may include:
- On-site classes
- Distance learning
- Online tutorials
Some employers even offer reimbursements to nurses who advance their education.
Creating a nurse referral system
Current nurses in your health organization can be great staffing scouts. They have connections to their colleagues who may be out of work or recently graduated.
Nurses can easily convince friends to join your healthcare enterprise. But, of course, you’ll need to issue some referral compensation, be it monetary or job perks.
Offer compensation for relocation
The demand for nurses varies from state to state. Therefore, it’s much easier to headhunt nurses from states that have an influx of nurses.
To draw nurses to your healthcare center, you need to offer them comprehensive packages. For example, you can pay their state relocation expenses and meet some of their urgent needs.
Encourage former nurses to return
Nurses quit the nursing profession for several reasons. They may wish for more time with their families or even to run businesses. When coming up with solutions for nursing shortages, nursing executives should encourage former nurses to return to the nursing profession.
You can offer such nurses reduced hours or filler roles that won’t strain them. In addition, these nurses may need refresher courses to get them in line with current nursing practices.
Provide growth opportunities
Although nursing is an excellent professional path to pursue, the long working hours in the nursing sector deters many aspiring healthcare professionals. Despite the sensationalized depictions of nurses on TV, real-life nurses must endure long shifts while performing repetitive tasks.
As time goes, nurses might lose motivation when performing a specific role. So you need to give them new tasks that come with more responsibilities and promote them to higher positions when they meet specific standards.
Drastic policy changes are needed to combat the nursing shortage. At an institutional level, nursing executives need some ingenuity to meet the staffing demands of their health organizations. The above solutions should help you retain and attract nurses to your health facility.