5 Reasons You’re Not Getting the Nursing Candidates You Need

The goal for every healthcare organization is having qualified staff that excels in patient care. This is especially true in the current environment when finding and retaining nursing staff is so very difficult, even for the best healthcare facilities. So how can you strive to get the nursing candidates you need to add to your staff? 

There are many different reasons a healthcare facility may have difficulties attracting the type of nursing candidate they need. Maybe the location isn’t desirable or the facility’s reputation precedes them in a not-so-good way. But the fact remains in order to facilitate excellent patient care you must attract strong candidates for open nursing staff positions. Here we offer five reasons you may not be enticing qualified nursing candidates to your healthcare organization and what you can do about it. 

1. The Competition

Prior to the pandemic and the fallout that created the nursing shortage, most employers held the power. Now, in the face of a shortage of nursing staff, employers must step up their game. The competition is fierce. 

The best solution is to offer those perks the other organizations lack. For instance, stress the opportunity for advancement, support any certifications relating to the job, make sure your onboarding process provides a mentor, and promote work-life balance. These are the areas that make your organization stand out from the crowd.

2. Location

Any location with a difficult commute, such as a healthcare facility located in a large downtown area or one that’s in a remote rural location is automatically going to be less desirable for nursing candidates. There’s not much you can do about your location but there are some things that may make the job more desirable.

Consider providing some sort of compensation for travel expenses, offer shifts that coincide with less traffic on the roadways and comp meals as incentives.

3. Shifting Needs of a New Generation of Nursing Candidates

Today’s nursing candidates come from a generation that prioritizes work-life balance. It’s no longer enough that a healthcare organization offers an extensive benefits package or generous 401k. Millennials and Gen X are looking for more in the way of unique and helpful perks.

On-site childcare is a definite plus as are wellness retreats, on site gyms, fitness classes and incentives such as gift certificates for spa treatments and the like. Generous maternity and family leave and opportunities for more PTO are extremely attractive to nursing candidates. Get creative with your incentives and see what happens.

4. Not Providing a Positive Experience From the Beginning

Making the application process easy and communicating regularly throughout the course of interview/hiring procedures have a definite bearing on how nursing candidates view your organization. The candidate experience is extremely important and often overlooked. 

Make sure the application process is simple and efficient, communicate with the nursing candidates you interview and move quickly. As we said earlier the competition is out there.

5. Inconsistency

When the job description is unclear and the interviewer is less than knowledgeable about your practices and can’t answer essential questions you will lose top quality nursing candidates and fast. It doesn’t take much to be organized in these areas and the payoff may be great.

Craft a consistent interview process and ensure the interviewer understands and can answer any questions regarding the duties and factors of the job. That way, when a qualified candidate answers your and you’re ready.


For more on how to find the nursing candidates you need to fill staff openings at your healthcare facility contact BOS Medical Staffing.

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