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What Do Nurses Want?

Nurse recruitment has become top-of-mind for many hospitals, yet the industry still faces a nursing shortage. Retail clinics have created additional competition, and some nurse practitioners are opening solo practices. Which techniques really attract nurses, and how can hospitals keep their hires on board? 

Cheryl Peterson
Senior Policy Analyst
American Nurses Association
Silver Spring, MD

Because of the shortage, nurses are in a position to be able to interview hospitals, not only to be interviewed themselves. Nurses are looking at some of the benefits being offered, such as continuing education opportunities. The other piece that nurses should consider is whether the facility is a Magnet hospital, because that is indicative of it as a facility that is really valuing nurses. In addition, because the transition period from student to employee is difficult, they need to grow into that role. Having a strong, lengthy orientation program provides not only familiarity with the facility, but also some mentoring over a period of time. A strong orientation assists with the transition from student to nurse and helps the new nurse become comfortable in that role. All of these pieces are characteristics that providers just have to constantly look at.

Jill Fuller, RN, PhD
Chief Nursing Officer
Prairie Lakes Healthcare System
Watertown, SD

Nurses are attracted to facilities with flexible scheduling, continuing education support, and a benefit package without a waiting period. Nurses who had a great clinical experience as a student nurse in the organization often will want to continue working there full time after graduation, so tuition assistance in exchange for work commitment is something to consider. In a rural setting, Magnet status and shared governance is often not as important to nurses as it may be in urban settings. Many new hires at smaller facilities either completed clinical experience there or worked as an aide, so they do not need the other “branding” enticements. In a rural setting, it is also important to new recruits to have the ability to work close to home. Establishing a strong local pipeline with community LPN and RN programs could help hospitals attract nurses.
Ben Cole

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