The healthcare sector is busy all year round, and they’re always short of staff. When a hospital is overburdened with work, they’re unable to provide quality treatment. One healthcare department which seems to suffer due to insufficient staff is nurses, despite being the most fundamental and essential in the healthcare sector. They do a series of jobs that keeps the system afloat. A shortage of nurses only spells trouble for the healthcare sector, so here’s what they can do to ensure they always have a good supply of nurses coming in:
1. Advertise In Nursing Outlets
While it’s true that hospitals need staff, it is not easy to find them. Advertisements bridge the gap between supply and demand. They make it swifter for nurses to see you and compare hospital reputation with each other and apply to hospitals they consider the most suitable for their qualifications.
2. Emphasize on Career Advancement
It would be best if you highlighted career advancement for nurses who choose to work for your hospital. They get a chance to explore their career more deeply. It would help if you look at online educational degrees and find out the timeline to complete an advanced course such as a post-masters. When you know how long does it take to get a masters in nursing, you can encourage nurses to apply to such programs and then look towards your hospital. Not only are you letting nurses obtain skills, but you’re also streamlining their job. It lets them access more senior positions, which is a massive help to the hospital sector. When nurses learn that it only takes a two-year degree to access more hospital resources, they’ll consider looking in your direction.
3. Create a Balanced Environment
One of the reasons why nurses are hesitant to apply to prestigious hospitals is to work for more clinics in the environment they have to face. The working hours are long, and not every nurse has the opportunity to stay away from home for long hours. In some cases, nurses are greatly troubled with the cases they have had to deal with. As a hospital, it’s your job to ensure that your staff is not overworked. Burnt-out employees take a longer time to recoup and are unable to keep up with the demands of the patients. So, if you allow nurses to work for certain hours, let them go home and call them in after they get sufficient rest. You should even try and get counseling available in the hospital so that their mental health is cared for. After all, who doesn’t want to work in an environment where they are cared for.
4. Compensate Accordingly
Nursing is a tedious job. It requires nursing professionals to be on their feet all day. In exchange for the services, they provide nurses with attractive salaries. The market is already competitive. If you withhold on paying, nurses will have no qualms in finding another hospital to work at. It is not something you can afford. So be prepared to pay them large sums of money and even offer attractive compensation packaging such as tuition reimbursement.
5. Offer Better Schedules
Nurses get exhausted due to the long working hours. Flexible schedules ensure that nurses can also rest and spend time leisurely outside of work which is essential for their mental health. If your hospital operates in multiple locations, you can allow nurses to choose where they want to do their shift. Not only does this break up a mundane routine, but it also breaks up the repetition of several tasks. Nurses also get a change of scenery, boosting their mental health and bringing them back to work.
6. Have Nurse Ambassadors
Nurses want you to listen to them. While they’re going around taking care of the hospital, they also have certain demands that they want you to fulfill. It means you should look into appointing nurse ambassadors. These representatives act as a voice for the nursing community and let you know where your system lacks and where it is doing well. You can even leverage these professionals to write testimonials that can help you market your hospitals more and pave a path for more professionals to work for you. Nursing demands also shouldn’t be ignored. If you ignore what the staff wants, they will not hesitate to leave. So make sure that doesn’t happen.
7. Emphasize Workplace Safety
While working, nurses are susceptible to many workplace injuries. It can happen if they’re either overworked or targeted by a mob of angry patients and their families. You can’t allow their safety to get jeopardized even for a minute. It means you need strong hospital measures in place that will keep these professionals safe. Inform nurses about their rights and what legal processes that your hospital supports that will allow them to file any claim of negligence. Penalize patients and their families if they’re harassing nurses or even physically harming them in any way. Create a support system for nurses so they always feel like they belong and are protected. Nurses leave environments where they feel unsafe. Suppose a hospital treats them like a commodity and a liability, they will not hesitate to walk out. No hospital is in a position to lose its workforce, especially as talented as nurses. So please don’t make them feel expendable; instead, emphasize their value.
Nurses are an integral part of the healthcare sector. Unfortunately, they are in short supply since the ratio of patients to nurses is relatively high. Another reason why a hospital may have a shortage of nursing staff is due to their inadequacy in protecting and guarding their interests. If you wish to find new nurses and freshly graduates, make sure you advertise online.
Create an environment that takes care of them, safeguards their interests, keeps them far from assault, and compensates for their work. If you keep these practices up, you’ll have no trouble maintaining the staff you have onboard.