US Nursing Shortage (PART VII)
What solutions are then available to improve the nursing shortage? (continued)
Let us continue the discussion of the Group 2 recruitment and retention practices. If the shortage projections hold, the next decade will leave no choice but to look beyond the traditional employment setup. This means:
- Continue to tap into the expensive contingent workforce: patient care cannot wait and often hospitals need to find nurses on a short notice because they simply cannot find anyone to fill the labor deficit. Hiring contract (or agency) nurses is seldom (probably never!) a cost-effective alternative and they are not particularly liked by peers or management. If your institution has no choice and need to go this route, it is best you negotiate temporary terms that will allow you to repair your recruitment process and avoid the ongoing roller coaster of needing them.
- Seldom agency nurses turn into a full-time employee. But that should not discourage you from looking for ways to bring them permanently as part of your labor pool. Remember proper HCMs can help you offer agency nurses the type of flexible work that they seek; and think of their onboarding as part of your recruitment… you are already paying high premium for them so make the onboarding second to none!
- Additionally, negotiate with the agencies “favorable rupture terms” (any clauses that will allow you to keep the temp nurses without penalties!) So often this is overlooked, and stiff fees can prohibit pursuing a permanent relationship.
- Finally, setup mentors that can “sell” the value of your institution to these nurses. “Cold receptions” and antipathy will not help to keep them!