With the healthcare industry increasingly apprehensive about nursing shortages, and rural providers still facing a crisis of their own, leaders are ramping up efforts to recruit nurses.
Nearly two-third of nurses ages 54 or older are considering retirement within the next three years, according to a survey from AMN Healthcare. These numbers have led many healthcare leaders to try new strategies to recruit the next generation of nurses, Becker's Hospital Review reported. For example, half of the 400 openings at San Diego's Scripps Health are for registered nurses, according to the article. The organization now offers transitional education programs so that it can train current employees so they can fill some of the vacancies internally.
Meanwhile, a nursing shortage has led Asheville, North Carolina's Mission Health to hire travel nurses and offer recruits sign-on bonuses that, in some cases, require a minimum length-of-employment commitment, according to Becker's. Other organizations offer tuition reimbursement options and bonuses for employees who get certifications in nursing specialties.
To deal with the potential resurgence of nursing shortages, Nurse.com reports that many hospital leaders have implemented the following strategies to retain their current nursing workforce while attracting new talent:
- Recruit high school students to become certified nursing assistants and then work with them to earn nursing degrees
- Move registered nurses into leadership positions
- Arrange with community colleges to have nurses teach classes there
- Task nurses with creating community wellness programs
Healthcare leaders have tried other strategies to boost nurse recruitment and retention as well, including retention bonuses. Although more experienced nurses have an advantage in hiring, more providers are creating residency programs to train recent graduates, FierceHealthcare previously reported.