In recent years, it has been harder and harder for institutions to find a ready supply of nurses.
Within the healthcare industry, nurses are incredibly crucial not only for patient care, but for administration, management, and training as well.
Difficulties with hiring nurses, therefore, could lead to considerable problems in any hospital. Below are several important reasons for the challenges in hiring nurses in 2019.
Difficulty in appealing to younger generations
With newer nursing programs having a lower number of clinical hours in comparison to nursing shifts, the younger generations simply aren’t attracted to the long, 12+ hour shifts expected of nurses. Millennials are the future of the workforce, yet not many of them are attracted to nursing jobs. To increase your chances of appealing to the younger generations, try to form personal connections during the interview and training process.
Low supply of graduating nurses
Every year, tens of thousands of applicants are turned away from nursing programs and majors due to a lack of faculty, training equipment, budgeting limits, and classroom space. However, the job openings for nursing positions are expected to reach over a million in a decade. With such high demand, the current statistics of expected graduates cannot fill the void. For such reasons, it may be better to tweak your advertising to favor nurses with experience rather than brand new grads, because it looks like there will not be enough of them.
Retiring baby boomer nurses
In 2020, the number of baby boomer RNs will be half that of 2008. With the most experience and knowledge of the field, the retirement of baby boomer nurses will leave quite a gap in the workforce. For this reason, institutions need to rapidly search for willing, younger generations to begin training in preparation for the loss of a vast percentage of seasoned RNs.
Nurses are heavily attracted to higher salaries, but that will be difficult to meet for many hospitals, as the budget for them is decreasing. It will be to the recruiter’s benefit to focus not on the base salary, but more so on benefits and programs offered along with the position.
Rise of nurse specialties
While specialty degrees may sound like a positive development, it is taking RNs away from their positions. Especially with the younger generation, the nurses want to be surprised and challenged in their career to achieve personal growth, which makes a specialty degree more enticing than their current job as an RN. To retain your RNs, focus on developing recognition programs, an influential company culture, and development opportunities within their field.
Lack of communication between recruiters
There is a limit to the extent of the information recruiters have on each position they screen for. Because they are the gatekeepers for a facility’s employment, they have a significant amount of freedom, which can be an issue, if they fail to communicate with the nurse managers throughout the screening process. Even though nurse managers don’t have a lot of room for additional responsibilities, simple communication during the nurse recruitment process will raise the chances of top-quality hires.
Difficulty in building relationships
Due to budget cuts and subsequent understaffing, leaders within the nursing industry are having a hard time forming interpersonal relationships with their employees. Increasing work hours also make it exceedingly difficult for building a productive, personal atmosphere within the RN and Nurse manager community. For this reason, try creating a shared governance program to encourage bonding and forming an uplifting atmosphere to retain more RNs.
Although leadership changes hardly affect already employed nurses, it can significantly slow the hiring process. With the responsibility to approve new nurses resting in the manager’s hands, it will take more time for new managers to take control of the recruitment process. With multiple leadership changes in any given year, it is easy to see how the recruitment and retainment process can easily be disrupted.
The necessity for night shift leaders
When experienced nurses who are used to working undesirable shifts retire, it can prove to be extremely difficult to fill their gap. To newly graduated nursing students, the night shift may seem like a nightmare. To relieve some of this stress and improve retainment rates, we recommend incorporating a thorough training program to allow the newer nurses to get accustomed to working such shifts.