The healthcare industry is facing a great nursing shortage. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), there will be more registered nurse jobs available through 2022 than any other profession in the United States.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 1.1 million nurses will be needed to avoid a further shortage. Employment opportunities for nurses is expected to grow at a faster rate than any other occupation through 2026.
An aging population, aging work force and burnout are major issues affecting the nursing shortage. Here’s what the healthcare industry is doing to attract new nurses.
Providing a Career Pathway for Nursing Teams
One way healthcare facilities are attracting new nursing talent is by offering a career pathway for their teams. Helping teams map out possible career paths helps retain nurses while promoting growth within the organization.
In some cases, there is an internal transfer process that allows staff members to try out new areas of nursing. This may be available for a limited window every year, or it may run all year long in an effort to attract new nurses.
Gaining a Better Understanding of the Workforce
Healthcare facilities are also working hard to get a better understanding of their workforce. Having a better understanding of their workforce means that they can cultivate a better work environment and benefits that attracts and retains workers.
It’s important for healthcare facilities to create a positive work environment that caters to the nurses’ interests, ages and experience levels.
Many are training and supporting team leaders who can provide support for staff and help managers better understand the needs and worries of nurses.
Targeting Men and Minorities
The nursing field is still dominated by women. In an effort to overcome the shortage and attract new nursing talent, healthcare facilities and schools are targeting men and minorities.
Men only account for a little more than 9% of nurses and about 7% of Licensed Practical Nurses. Yes, we’re seeing an increase in male nurses, and there are now companies dedicated to selling male scrubs. But attracting more male nurses can help overcome the shortage and create a more diverse workforce.
Working to attract minorities will also help the healthcare industry better serve its diverse community.
Being More Flexible
Flexibility is also helping healthcare facilities attract and retain new nurses. Improved flexibility can be something as simple as taking time out to listen to staff needs, or it can mean changing the culture.
Flexible rostering has been very beneficial for some facilities. If team members need to work reduced hours because of families, health or their desires to further their studies, rolling shift patterns allow organizations to meet these needs. This allows employees to enjoy more balance in their lives.
It’s challenging in the short-term, but flexibility will support staff and help facilities better serve the needs of nurses.
Getting Creative with Employee Benefits
One of the more effective ways to attract new nurses and retain talent is by getting creative with employee benefits. The one-size-fits-all approach is often ineffective.
Just like with any other profession, nurses are looking for unique benefits packages that allow them to plan for their futures and enjoy better work-life balance.