For many nurses, it’s not only their profession, but also an integral part of their personal identity. Nurses desire the support and tools to take care of patients to the best of their abilities. Marketing your health system’s educational and leadership benefits gives potential hires a clear view of where your organization’s priorities lie. The number of qualified, competent nurses is directly related to positive patient outcomes. The lack of experienced nurses is coupled with the loss of experienced faculty at nursing colleges. More than 75,000 qualified nursing applicants were turned away in 2018. Nursing faculty is aging along with the rest of the population and are unable to be replaced. Due to non-competitive salaries, astronomical education costs, and other factors, nurses with higher professional degrees, such as doctorates, are choosing to work in more lucrative fields like quality assurance programs and health care studies. By offering education leadership and advocacy opportunities, your healthcare system can recruit top nursing talent.
Attracting qualified nursing talent means offering a variety of educational opportunities to your nursing staff. The millennial and Gen-X generations consider themselves lifelong learners and highly value educational opportunities that can lead to career advancement. By branding your health system as a workplace that values nursing education, younger nurses will be attracted to your institution. There are many ways your healthcare system can support nursing education. Strategies should be based on regional gaps in your localized healthcare market while also working towards national recognition for your innovative programs.
Partnering with regional nursing colleges ensures that your health system has a pool of talented, qualified nurses who are already aware of or have worked with your health system before graduation. Long-term relationships and partnerships with academic institutions in your region are a sustainable solution for nurse staffing. Integrating practicums for nursing students at your health system familiarizes them with your work environment. Providing scholarships and loan forgiveness to qualified students who commit to working for your institution for several years after they graduate ensures new, knowledgeable nursing staff. Offer to address faculty shortages by integrating your organization’s nursing leadership into teaching positions.
Creating a mentorship program with nursing students not only builds relationships between students and your health system but also empowers your nursing staff to take pride in their profession. With nursing faculty shortages, there is a direct and imperative need for academic nursing leadership. An article on nurse leadership in The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing states, “Without intentional guidance, formal coaching, and role modeling… the future of nursing leadership could be in jeopardy.” Learning daily requirements of the profession firsthand from an experienced nurse give students a more realistic view of their future. This awareness can increase the longevity of your newly-graduated nursing staff as they already know what to expect in your work environment. A nursing mentorship program also demonstrates your organization’s commitment to educational leadership and the nursing profession. By partnering with the educational institutions in your region, your health system can receive more positive recognition throughout your local community which in turn attracts more qualified nurses.
Center for Support and Education
If there are no viable academic partnerships, create an internal center for nursing excellence within your organization. Nurses often face a lack of leadership and support. An article in The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing notes the “absence of an adequate leadership pipeline.” By intentionally creating a resource for your staff and a community that celebrates nursing and encourages leadership, nurses looking for professional growth will be attracted to your health system. This center can offer nurses mentorship roles, leadership opportunities, educational speakers within and outside of your organization, and other community initiatives. Offering support, guidance and education to your nursing staff not only increases their job satisfaction and your patient outcomes, but also shows interested nursing talent that your organization prioritizes the nursing profession.
In order to recruit high-quality nursing candidates, health systems must offer educational leadership and advocacy opportunities. Provided with a platform and community, nurses can focus not only on their professional development, but also their personal growth. By offering the support and education nurses want to take care of patients to the best of their abilities, your health system can attract top nursing talent.
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