The Best Ways to Find and Retain the Best Staff
By: American Nurses Association
There’s an estimate 4 million nurses in this country. That number is only expected to rise in the coming years.
So, for any nurse managers out there, you have two very important questions you need to be asking—how do I find the right staff for me, and how do I keep them on my team?
Fortunately, we’re here to offer you some help.
How to find the staff that’s right for you
When building your team, it’s vital to look for the skills and attributes that go beyond just the resume.
During your next interview, be aware of these factors as well:
Do they have the right emotional strength?
Being a nurse means long hours in high-stress environments, where the smallest mistake can have massive repercussions.
Figuring out who has the strength to handle all of that is key.
Look for candidates who are adaptable, who can deal in a fast-paced setting, and can multitask at a high level.
Also, these are the types of people who have great empathy and care for other people. They understand that being a nurse is more than just CYA, it’s about making sure their patients—and their colleagues—are doing everything they can to ensure the health and safety of everyone else.
Get your current staff members’ opinions and insights
There’s a reason you already have the staff that you have. It’s because you know that your team is battle tested and iron forged. You’ve been in the trenches together, and you know that they will do anything to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
So, why not use them to help find your next candidate?
Collaboration is key—especially when hiring someone new. By getting multiple insights and assessments, you’ll find the right person for you.
Do candidates share your team’s values?
Nurses—on average—work between 12 and 16 hours a day. Those long shifts mean that they could be spending more time with each other than with their own families.
Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your team would actually like to work with the candidate, and determine whether or not the candidate has the same goals and ambitions for improving your hospital or health care facility.
Focusing on why they got into nursing, or determining how they handle working for or under someone else is more important than whatever credentials they may be walking in with.
How to keep your team together
Ok, so you took our advice, and now you have the best team possible. You’ve built the right culture and your ward is running like a dream. So, how do you keep the good times rolling, and retain the team that you worked so hard to build?
You read the headline, so here are a few tips you should keep in mind for how best to retain your nursing staff:
Provide a flexible schedule
The number one reason nurses get fed up with their current job is the stress that comes with the long hours.
According to Healthcare Source, nurses who work over 12 hours in a single shift and 40 hours in a week are more prone to turnover and job dissatisfaction.
Simply by offering your team of nurses flexible scheduling—so they actually get time to spend with their families—will help them be much less stressed at home and much less stressed at work.
Offer career advancement
The next most popular reason for nurses to want to leave is the lack—perceived or otherwise—of career advancement opportunities.
You can overcome this by providing a ladder for your nurses to become nurse managers; providing professional support and development through scholar programs or specialized certification courses; or just through constant communication with superiors.
The more you show you care about your nurses’ career advancement, the more they’ll want to have a career working with you.
Add more benefits
While nursing does provide the standard business benefits package—health care, paid time off, etc.—there is more nurse managers can do to make sure their staff feels appreciated.
Create goals and metrics for your staff. If those goals are met, provide an incentive program. Incentives could be:
- Paid time off
- Presenting at a conference
- Completing a fellowship program
Through added benefits, your staff should feel more compelled on a daily basis, and should want to strive to hit higher and higher benchmarks.
Related Products and Services
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In this new ANA webinar, Developing a Culture of Retention for Nurses, you will gain knowledge and skills to create and sustain a positive culture of retention.
In this six-course course bundle from ANA, we give you the skills and strategies leaders need to create a positive practice environment for your organization. Saving you over $50.00 if you bought these courses separately, this bundle is essential for any leader who manages staff, especially for those on the Pathway to Excellence journey.
Nurses encounter a great deal of stress in their day-to-day jobs. This webinar helps nurse leaders lead their staff through stressful nursing-specific situations more effectively.