US Nursing Shortage (PART VIII)

What solutions are then available to improve the nursing shortage? (continued)

Let us continue the discussion of the Group 2 recruitment and retention practices. This next strategy is probably one of the most important ones that I can offer.

The nursing shortage requires adding foreign educated nurses (FEIN) into their recruitment pools as a long-term strategy. Most institutions do not know how to go about doing this, and a lot of misinformation and a few poor experiences have created a bit of a cloud around it. Let me explain the value of this strategy and how to proceed.

Many countries around the world educate equivalent BSN nurses and provide them with invaluable patient care experience. In several of these countries there is a surplus of nurses that would love to pursue their careers in the U.S. For quite a while, some agencies and a few hospitals have been sourcing nurses from these countries (the best-known example is the Philippines).

Most agencies that recruit FEIN basically become a conduit for FEINs to come to the U.S. and work as contract premium nurses for an extended period, reaping a nice profit and promising the hospital and candidate that they can have a permanent relationship after a set period (normally 2 to 3 years post working for the agency).

A handful of hospitals have attempted to do FEIN recruitment on their own, but the cost and effort of setting up reliable pipelines of English-speaking FEINs has proven to be beyond the capacity of most.

Here are the good news: there are a few groups that have reliably jump into this space and act as the FEIN recruiters for healthcare organizations.

I am convinced that the next decade will force many healthcare institutions to have ongoing FEIN recruitment. To do this you need:

  1. A reliable FEIN recruiting partner that will filter and source the type of nurses you would enjoy as your employees. These partners will provide all the support needed by the FEINs to obtain their U.S. nursing license and for the hospital to go through the immigration process. Please avoid using any agencies that charges for FEINs contingency staff rates!
  2. You need to have a solid assimilation, training, and onboarding process. These FEINs are one of the most committed nurses you are bound to find! They are grateful for the opportunity and look forward to a long-term relationship with your institution.
  3. Keep in mind that their work ethic is likely to change the nursing culture of your institution. Our experience is that this is one of the greatest pluses of adding them but expect a period of adjustment.
  4. The lead time of this strategy is usually more than a year, but if you do not start soon, there will be limited opportunities.
  5. Our estimate is that on a 3-year commitment, a hospital-based FEIN not coming from an agency have a 450%+ ROI (that is savings in the $200K range).
  6. FEIN hiring is good for business. Hospitals that do this right obtain great results. They achieve staff diversity, a different level of innovation, excellent performance, and top productivity.
  7. FEINs also grows your talent pool and is good for your brand. They help appeal to a wider range of candidates because more people with different backgrounds can relate to them.

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