The Evolution of Healthcare Recruitment: 4 Tips to Improve Staffing – Marketplace Experts

Pritma Chatta

In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) have joined forces to celebrate nurses with the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

Originally created to honor the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and to elevate the vital role nurses play in transforming health care around the world, the Year of the Nurse took on new meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic as visibility and appreciation for all that nurses do is reaching new levels.

In a year meant to honor and elevate nurses, too many nurses have been placed in unimaginable circumstances, with nearly 80% of registered nurses saying the pandemic has strained their unit staff to “dangerous levels “. The WHO and ANA have even extended the Year of the Nurse celebration to 2021 to draw more attention to the relentless bravery of nurses during the crisis.

But as 2021 and the Year of the Nurse come to an end, healthcare leaders are no closer to tackling the growing shortage of nurses, which has threatened the industry for decades but is now reaching a record number. Experts predict an estimated shortage of 1.1 million nurses this year.

While nurses have long been overworked and undervalued, in the wake of COVID-19 and as more nurses reach retirement age or step away from patient care each year , the urgency to improve the situation has never been greater. Without more concerted efforts here, healthcare employers will continue to lose nursing employees – to vaccination mandates, burnout, and poor workplace culture, among other reasons.

As a former nurse myself, I have seen the toll that labor issues can have on existing staff. If healthcare organizations have any chance of correcting the problem in the coming years, it will be essential to prioritize a few key recruitment strategies in order to attract top nursing talent and to support that talent once hired in order to that they can ultimately provide the best care to our communities.

Develop the face of nursing

Women have dominated the nursing profession throughout history, and this is still true today, with women making up 91% of nurses. But it actually opens up significant opportunities for healthcare employers to expand beyond their typical candidate pools. Healthcare employers need to fill their pipelines with a broader, more diverse pool of candidates and demographics.

Currently, about 50% of all US employees say they are looking for a career change, and almost a third hope to change industries altogether. With so many people considering a career change, healthcare leaders have a huge opportunity to promote job openings and show these new applicants that healthcare is a field they can grow into for many years to come. to come.

For current employees, leaders need to invest in upskilling and training for the various careers possible in the industry. There are also many recruitment opportunities for hourly carer positions that do not require extensive training, but with the right training, this could give employees a foot in the door for more skilled, long-term careers in the field. of health.

Reflect diversity in management

Even with the highest proportion of women in addition to being one of the most racially diverse professions in health care, nursing does not reflect the same diversity in its management roles – 55% of system leaders of health are white males.

The best thing current leaders can do to encourage more diversity in management is to support and promote diverse members of their current staff. When diversity is reflected in leadership, these leaders are much more likely to make meaningful connections with current and potential employees.

Ensuring similarities in the demographics of frontline workers and management also helps foster goodwill among staff, which can help employees feel more comfortable sharing feedback or concerns, and in turn, boosts employee retention.

Provide nurses with burnout prevention resources

More than three-quarters of American healthcare workers report feeling burnt out, exhausted and overwhelmed. Qualified nursing staff, in particular, are often reported to have higher burnout rates than hospital staff.

And after such an unprecedented time in history, healthcare employers have an increasing responsibility to support their nurses – whether that means helping to create a safe working environment, providing flexible mental health services, ensure smooth shift changes, and offer on-site or virtual employee assistance programs. .

Restore joy, passion and meaning to the profession

Improving nurse staffing largely depends on re-energizing current employees and restoring their passion for their work. Healthcare employers can help break down the various barriers that prevent today’s nurses from enjoying their work more by providing flexible benefits, recognizing and supporting their hard work and long hours, and learning more about their individual and professional goals. All healthcare workers have a drive and sense of purpose, and by offering them real support, you honor their purpose and make your workplace more welcoming to everyone.

Living and working at the intersection of health, education and people, nurses have been profoundly and unequally affected by the pandemic. The coming decade will test the country’s nearly 6 million nurses in new and complex ways. This will require a stronger and more diverse nursing workforce ready to deliver care and promote the health and well-being of nurses, individuals and communities.

Pritma Chatta is a Yale-educated, Ph.D. executive nurse with 18 years of patient care experience at the bedside and in the boardroom. She is Vice President of Healthcare Innovation at Apploi, a recruiting, onboarding, and credential management software company serving healthcare organizations. Chattha and her team are on a mission to modernize and accelerate healthcare hiring while helping facilities reduce employee turnover and retain the best staff.

The opinions expressed in McKnight Long Term Care News guest submissions are those of the author and not necessarily those of McKnight Long Term Care News or its editors.

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