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Finding qualified registered nurses (RNs) in today's healthcare industry isn't getting any easier for employers. RNs are in high demand and short supply, making the recruitment process a significant challenge. In this Nurse Recruitment Experts article, we will explore various ways healthcare employers can find qualified RN staff to fill their open positions.
RN Staffing Guide
Registered nurses play a crucial role in the healthcare industry, with the following responsibilities:
- Providing patient care and education
- Assisting with medical procedures
- Managing medical records
However, with the current RN shortage in the United States, finding qualified RN staff has become increasingly challenging for healthcare employers.
The nurse shortage could be a result of many factors. Reason could include an aging nursing workforce, as well as a lack of nursing faculty to train new RNs. Regardless of the reason, healthcare employers must take it upon themselves to find innovative ways to attract and retain qualified RN staff.
Understanding the RN Shortage
To effectively find qualified RN staff, healthcare employers must first understand the RN shortage and its impact on the industry. RNs are in high demand, with many job opportunities available across various healthcare settings. However, the supply of RNs is low, creating a significant staffing challenge for employers.
The RN shortage is particularly acute in certain geographic areas and specialty areas of nursing, such as critical care and emergency nursing. Healthcare employers must be aware of these trends to effectively target their recruitment efforts.
Defining the Role of an RN
Before embarking on a recruitment strategy, healthcare employers must clearly define the role of an RN within their organization. This includes identifying the necessary qualifications, skills, and experience required for the job.
RN job descriptions should be detailed and include the scope of practice, expected job duties, and required certifications and licenses. This will help to attract qualified candidates who meet the organization's specific needs.
Building a Recruitment Strategy
Once the RN role has been defined, healthcare employers can begin to develop a recruitment strategy. This strategy should include various recruitment channels, such as job postings, referrals, social media, job fairs, and recruitment agencies.
Job postings are a popular and effective way to attract RN candidates. Employers should post their job openings on popular job boards and healthcare-specific job sites. The job description should be clear and concise, outlining the necessary qualifications and job duties.
Employee referrals are a great way to find qualified RN candidates. Healthcare employers should encourage their current RN staff to refer qualified colleagues and offer incentives for successful referrals.
Social media can be an effective recruitment tool for healthcare employers. Employers could use social media platforms such as LinkedIn as it is naturally a hub for jobseekers. Facebook can also be an option as not everyone is constantly on LinkedIn seeking work. There are also many other platforms to connect with potential candidates across social media.
Job fairs provide an opportunity for employers to connect with RN candidates in person. Employers should attend local job fairs and bring promotional materials such as brochures and business cards. An alternative is a Virtual Hiring Event, also known as a virtual job fair which can bring the whole event online through video conferencing.
Recruitment agencies can be a valuable resource for healthcare employers looking to find qualified RN staff. Matching candidates with job openings is the specialty of agencies and they can help employers save time and money in the recruitment process. If you want to learn more about this, you can book a demo to speak to a Nurse Recruitment Expert.
Once candidates have applied or been referred for RN positions, healthcare employers must screen them to ensure they meet the necessary qualifications and skills. The screening process typically includes reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and administering skills assessments.
The resume review process focusing on the candidate's qualifications and experience should be a thorough procedure. Candidates with relevant experience, certifications, and licenses only appear once the right screening process is in place.
Interviews are a critical part of the screening process, and employers should conduct both phone and in-person interviews. The interviews should be structured and include questions focused on the candidate's experience, skills, and fit within the organization.
Skills assessments can be used to evaluate a candidate's clinical skills and knowledge. These assessments can include written tests, simulations, and hands-on evaluations.
Onboarding New Hires
Once a candidate has been hired, the onboarding process is crucial to step to ensure their future success. The onboarding process should include orientation and training, as well as mentorship programs. You can view our list of the best onboarding software for hospitals here.
Orientation and Training
New RN hires should receive thorough orientation and training to ensure they are familiar with the organization's policies, procedures, and expectations. This training should include both classroom and hands-on training.
Mentorship programs can be valuable for new RN hires, providing them with support and guidance as they navigate their new role. Mentoring programs can include one-on-one or group mentoring, as well as shadowing programs.
Retaining RN Staff
Retaining qualified RN staff is just as important as finding them. Healthcare employers should develop retention strategies that include competitive salaries and benefits, recognition and rewards, professional development opportunities, and a positive work environment.
Competitive Salaries and Benefits
Offering competitive salaries and benefits is critical for retaining RN staff. It's a good idea for employers regularly review and adjust their salary and benefit packages to ensure they are competitive with other healthcare organizations.
Recognition and Rewards
Recognizing and rewarding RN staff for their hard work and dedication can help boost morale and retain staff. Employers can offer bonuses, awards, or public recognition programs to acknowledge staff for their contributions.
Professional Development Opportunities
Offering professional development opportunities can help RN staff grow and advance within their careers. Employers can offer tuition reimbursement, continuing education programs, and leadership development opportunities.
Positive Work Environment
Creating a positive work environment is critical for retaining RN staff. Employers should promote open communication, a healthy work-life balance, and a culture of respect and inclusivity.
Final Thoughts on How to Find RN Staff
Finding and retaining qualified RN staff is a significant challenge for healthcare employers. To effectively recruit and retain RN staff, employers must understand the RN shortage, define the role of an RN, develop a multi-faceted recruitment strategy, screen candidates thoroughly, onboard new hires effectively, and offer competitive salaries and benefits, recognition and rewards, professional development opportunities, and a positive work environment.
President of Nurse Recruitment Experts.
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