Job shortages plague healthcare facilities on many different levels. In many hospitals, and different specialties, physicians are n short supply. Support staff is needed and becoming more essential as the patient population continues to grow, and it’s no secret that hospitals , nursing homes, and other medical environments are suffering a desperate nursing shortage. And these dire job shortages are expected to continue through 2025.
The health and welfare of the patient population in this country depends on fully staffed facilities. Job shortages in clinical settings must be remedied-immediately. So what’s the best way for providers to deal with the nursing shortage? And how are employers supposed to recruit and retain qualified nurses in this competitive environment?
Creative Solutions to Job Shortages
Job shortages in the medical field are urgent in nature. It’s essential for providers to find immediate solutions by getting creative with recruiting. Thankfully most gaps in qualified staff are short-lived. There are ways to both recruit and retain nurses, and medical support staff, through these creative solutions:
Make the Transition a Positive Experience
One of the most challenging times in a new nurse’s career, is when they make the transition from student nurse to assuming the full-fledged responsibilities of nursing, in a clinical setting that’s somewhat out of their control. Self-doubt, fear of failure, and a dwindled self-confidence takes over.
Make your new nurses feel at home in heir new career. Consider assigning a mentor to help them until they feel better able to handle their tasks on their own. Allow the onboarding and training to continue on some level for as long as the new hires need it. Don’t assign the difficult cases to your newbies.
By making your new hire feel welcome, and a valued member of the team, you’re less likely to lose them. By making sure the atmosphere says “welcome” you can slow the turnover rate at your facility. You also begin to build a reputation among the new nurse community and you’ll find nurses clamoring to work for your institution.
Consider Offering Compensation for Referrals
Your best recruiters are happy employees. Find a way to incentivize referrals. Offer gift cards, PTO, and spa days as rewards for bringing referrals your way.
Assist Your Employees in Work-Life Balance
It’s a wise employer who takes time to consider both the personal and professional needs of their staff. Allow for “mom shifts” and “dad shifts” when your staff can work a shortened shift every now and again in order to spend time with family.
Make workshops for certain certifications available quarterly. In larger facilities this is a wonderful benefit for nursing staff who wish to advance their skill set. Provide support for those nurses who want to further their education. Most of all, be understanding, so you don’t lose a good employee. Be flexible, be patient, and be innovative. Go to bat for your staff.
Cover Short Staffing With Agency Nurses
Short staffing can be overwhelming for all concerned. If you face short staffing situations do not ask your current nursing staff to cover the shortfall. You’ll end up with nurses who are exhausted and feel under appreciated. Burnout is often the result of short-staffing, due to overwork.
Instead, learn the secret that keeps many medical facilities’ operations and patient care running smoothly. Partner with a medical staffing agency to find temporary personnel who can hit the ground running and fill those short-staffed gaps. It can take a chunk of your time to recruit and on-board new nurses enough to cover the gaps. Medical staffing agencies cut out that time by matching you with an experienced nurse who can begin working as soon as you need them.
Solutions Can be Found
Of course the most cost-effective way to resolve your job shortages is by utilizing the resources of a medical staffing agency. When you partner with an agency you can know, with confidence, that you’re getting qualified personnel. The agency does all of the vetting, and ensures an experienced, high quality match to meet your specific needs.
The need for nurses, and other clinical staff, will continue to rise with the patient population. For hospitals and medical facilities experiencing job shortages now, it’s only gong to get worse. The best thing, for your facility and your patients, is to start using these creative measures to fill your gaps.