How To Attract and Retain Great Nurses

Right now, the nursing profession is suffering from a very serious shortage. There are, reportedly, 126,000 unfilled nursing positions throughout the United States. Many different approaches are being taken to address the severity of the situation. These include such things as hiring bonuses, increased contracts, foreign recruitment, financial aid for those wishing to become nurses, increased benefits and wages, and lower selection standards.

Many organizations blame the shortage as the major reason that they cannot attract nurses. However, imagine, for a moment, if nurses were so content in their profession that they encourage others to become nurses or even encouraged those with a nursing degree to come work at the hospital they themselves are working at. Unfortunately, most nurses state that they wouldn’t recommend their friends or others to join their organization. Only about 29% of nurses say that they would recommend their organization. This 29% comes from hospitals where satisfaction and workplace engagement are a priority.

The more successful organizations have been doing several different things to set themselves apart when it comes to retaining their nurses and recruiting. One such hiring technique is hiring nurses on the basis of talent. Education and experience are simply not enough if the person applying lacks motivation, a strong sense of responsibility, and empathy. Too often organizations are too quick to hire simply to fill in spaces and this leaves other nurses stressed and unhappy that they end up having to work with ineffective colleagues.

The organizations that are doing the best are paying special attention to the talents of the applicants. They do not fill their management positions with those that are simply knowledgeable but rather those that are “wired” for the position. These applicants are equipped with special traits such as discipline, courage, problem-solving, team building, and responsibility. Those organizations that hire with these abilities in mind end up with more productive, effective, and talented teams, and this, in turn, encourages higher retention and more referrals.

If you’re looking for the best solution to the shortage of nurses don’t focus on quick fixes that will, inevitably, only be short-term. If you want to retain those nurses hire the right people in the first place. Look for talent primarily and then look at their experience and skills. You can then nurture and develop that applicant’s talents. This will lead to excellence in your management teams and will ensure that your nurses happily recommend your organization.