Blogs and other healthcare staffing resources repeatedly advise Travel Nurses and other temporary healthcare providers that the most important thing they can do for their careers is to find a professional, trustworthy recruiter to help shepherd them through the industry.
For healthcare staffing firms, the flipside of that is obvious: To remain competitive and attract the best talent, you must hire excellent recruiters!
In fact, the 2014 Healthcare Staffing Summit will host a session titled “Recruit, Reward, Retain: The 3 R’s to Support Hiring the Best Recruiters and Retaining Them.”
Obviously, a session like that will provide a ton of insight on the topic, but why is that important to a facility?
To take things one step further, as a facility, you want to make sure that you are working with healthcare staffing companies that hire and retain the best recruiters in the business. Like attracts like, so it stands to reason that the best recruiters and Travelers will flock to the companies that treat them the best. Those are the companies that you want your facilities to be working with!
Furthermore, Travelers are happiest — and, in turn, most effective on the job! — when their personal and professional needs are met.
For example, consider the impact on job performance of a Traveler who was provided excellent company-provided housing versus one who was not and is struggling to remedy their housing misfortune with a non-responsive and/or unprofessional recruiter. The difference is huge! And it will make a huge difference in your facility.
Another reason why an agency’s recruiter quality is so important to a facility is so that everything is as a Traveler was promised. A Traveler can be pretty furious and could potentially direct that towards your hospital’s administration or even other staff members if an unseemly recruiter misrepresents the situation that he or she will be going into.
Facilities understand the importance of quality healthcare Travelers, but it just as important to consider why working with firms with great recruiters matters.
U.S. News and World Report has just released its list of the best hospitals 2014-2015.
According to their website, “Out of nearly 5,000 hospitals evaluated for the 2014-15 U.S. News rankings, just 17 made the cut for the Honor Roll.”
In order to be eligible, hospitals needed to score near the top in no less than six (out of 16) medical specialties, and could earn up to two “Honor Roll” points in each specialty category.
The Top 10 are:
10. Northwestern Memorial in Chicago
9. Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
8. UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco
7. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian in Philadelphia
6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Colombia and Cornell in New York
5. UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles
4. Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland
3. Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore
2. Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston
1. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN
Click here to see the slideshow and check out all of the hospitals, as well as a breakdown of the specialties they scored highest in.
The American Nurses Association has provided input for and is backing newly proposed legislation that would require each unit to create and publicly report staffing plans.
Last month, on May 15, the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2014 was introduced as Senate Bill 2353. It’s a continuation/companion bill to the slow-moving H.R. 1821 — the RN Safe Staffing Act of 2013. Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon sponsored the 2014 legislation.
Unlike California’s specifically mandated nurse-to-patient ratios, and the similar scope of nurse staffing legislation efforts underway in Massachusetts, the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2014, doesn’t intend to specify staffing levels or nurse-to-patient ratios, but rather would simply require staffing levels to be formally decided on within each unit, with the results of such decisions available publicly.
Under the bill, hospitals would be required to form committees to establish nurse staffing plans. Committees would be required to be comprised of, at minimum, 55% direct care nurses, with the remainder committee members being selected at the hospital’s discretion. Some examples of other potential committee members have been hospital or nurse administrators, doctors, and stakeholders, for example.
The decided upon staffing plans would be determined for each unit and shift, and would be established based upon a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:
- The experience/certifications/skills of nurses working a unit
- Number of support staff available in a unit (as well as their background/skill)
- Physical and technological resources within a unit
- Quantity of patients in a unit, as well as patients’ conditions
Those in favor of the legislation believe that it threads the needle of doing something about improving nurse staffing ratios, while also avoiding a “one-size-fits all” attitude that might ignore each facility, unit, and shift’s unique staffing needs.
“What works in a rural hospital in my hometown [in North Dakota] may not be the same thing in an urban trauma center. It allows flexibility and it also allows buy-in,” Jerome Mayer, associate director, Department of Government Affairs at the ANA, told Health Leaders Media.
Mayer also commented on the part of the bill that would require the public reporting of the established staffing plans.
“We as consumers of healthcare are getting smarter about the delivery of care,” Mayer told Health Leaders Media. “If you’re able to compare the staffing levels … you’re probably going to go to the one that has a better ratio of nurses to patients.”
Early warning for Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2014 Healthcare Staffing Summit, which will be held September 8-10, 2014, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Liz Wiseman, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.
Wiseman is an effective teacher of leadership who has instructed executives worldwide. She is also President of the Wiseman Group, a Silicon Valley-based research and development firm.
According to Staffing Industry Analysts, “Some of her recent clients include: Apple, Dubai Bank, Genentech, Nike, PayPal, Salesforce.com and Twitter. Liz has been listed on the Thinkers50 ranking and named one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world.”
In addition to Wiseman’s speech, there will be a variety of other interesting sessions and networking events.
Register by June 6, 2014 to receive early bird rates. Click here for more info on the conference.
Nurses are a crucial part of a hospital, and once a year, from May 6-12, we celebrate nurses’ hard work and importance in healthcare with Nurses Week.
This national celebration ends on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, and is an excellent time and way for facilities to show their staff of nursing professionals how much they care. Even a small gesture during Nurses Week can mean a lot to your nurse staff!
A Health Leaders Media article “How 5 Top Hospitals Are Observing Nurses Week” showcased a lot of great ways a facility can honor its nurses. Here are some ways that a few top facilities are celebrating Nurses Week 2014:
Cleveland Clinic in Ohio was doing Panera gift cards, a multimedia “thank you” campaign for nurses, personalized eCards, free breakfast/lunch/dinner and dessert to units on all shifts, an awards ceremony, discounted Major League Baseball tickets, and more.
In Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Hospital offered its nurse staff free tickets and transportation to the premiere of The American Nurse: Healing America, a documentary which actually stars one of their own, a big bullpen party and ballgame, and the Tenth Annual Hopkins Nursing Charity Golf Outing on May 12.
Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston is hosting a staff nurse breakfast and high tea, as well as a series of cool lectures, awards, and more.
The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota is giving all of its nurses a free copy of Arlene Keeling’s new book The Nurses of Mayo Clinic: Caring Healers. Keeling will be on campus offering presentations on the book.
New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was hosting breakfasts and lunches all week long, bringing in a speaker, Mark Lazenby, who will talk about spirituality in palliative and cancer nursing, and more.
No matter what it is, be sure your hospital does something special for your nurses this week — even if it’s just a big, heartfelt THANK YOU. And, you can also direct your nurse staff to join in the fun contests and other cool stuff going on in celebration of Nurses Week over at WeLoveOurNurses.com.
Spring is a-popping and that means National Nurses Week will be here before we know it.
Nurses Week runs May 6-12 each year, ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. The annual week-long celebration is a fantastic opportunity to show your staff how much you value your Nurses.
A little recognition in one form or another goes a long way towards making these tireless, indispensable healthcare professionals feel special and valued within your facility.
This year the American Nurses Association is offering a really neat Nurses Week 2014 Toolkit. The goal is for the kit to act as a resource “that provides you with additional ways to recognize your nursing staff’s professional skills and abilities.”
If your facility wants to celebrate Nurses Week 2014, it’s a good idea to get a plan together now to outline that celebration, and the ANA’s Toolkit can help.
Of course, staffing professionals and hospital administrators are very busy people, but taking the effort to recognize Nurses Week and the important contributions of your Nurse staff will make them happy and encourage a happy working environment for all. Not only is it good for your people, it’s good for your facility.
Happy early Nurses Week!
As a member of hospital community, you know how important it is to maintain optimum staffing levels. It’s important to healthcare workers, staff, administration, and, of course, patients.
As time passes, the nursing shortage will continue to have a major impact on staffing levels at healthcare facilities. But what exactly is the trajectory of the shortage? And what are the factors that are influencing it?
Medical Solutions recently released an infographic titled, “Nursing Shortage: Then Why Can’t I Find a Job?” The infographic is primarily aimed at Travel Nurses, but we wanted to share it here on the Healthcare Staffing Blog as well, since it highlights some important trends and causes of the nursing shortage.
Understanding when and why the nursing shortage is expected to peak can help your facility know what to expect, staff appropriately, and continue delivering excellent patient care.
AMN Healthcare Inc. recently released its 2013 Clinical Workforce Survey — “A National Survey of Hospital Executives Examining Clinical Workforce Issue in the Era of Health Reform.” The results indicate a continued trend in the direction of a nursing shortage, an issue that Travel Nurses help address. The indication was that the vacancy rate for nurses at hospitals is at 17 percent, much higher than when this data was collected in 2009.
AMN president and chief executive officer Susan Salka spoke recently with Healthcare Traveler magazine about the survey.
“Change in healthcare is a continuous evolution, but the one constant is people,” she told Healthcare Traveler. “No matter what models of care are in place, it takes physicians, nurses, and other clinicians to provide quality patient care, and the fact is we simply do not have enough of them.”
According to the article, “More than 70 percent (of hospital executives and leaders surveyed) rated the staffing of nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, and physician assistants as a high priority in 2013, compared to only 24 percent of hospital executives who rated staffing these professionals as a high priority in AMN Healthcare’s 2009 workforce survey.”
The survey also said that the hospital vacancy rates of clinical professionals had risen since 2009. In 2009 nurse vacancies were reported at 5.5 percent, whereas in 2013 they were reported as having risen to 17 percent. The allied professional vacancy rate rose from 4.6 percent in 2009 to 13.3 percent in 2013.
Salka also told Healthcare Traveler magazine: “We are expanding access to healthcare and restructuring the delivery system to improve quality and reduce costs at the precise moment when a wave of physicians and nurses is set to retire. It will take new, collaborative, and innovative staffing models to ensure our workforce is aligned with the goals we all want to reach.”
Travel Nursing will certainly continue to be a huge part of easing the nursing shortage and helping facilities continue to provide excellent patient care. Click here to check out the Travel Nursing services Medical Solutions offers to many facilities across the nation.
Today is the last day to register with early bird pricing for the upcoming Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum, being held March 18-21, 2014, in San Diego.
This year’s keynote speakers include Barry Asin, President of Staffing Industry Analysts; Alan Beaulieu, President/Author/Provacateur of ITR Economics; Guy Kawasaki, Silicon Valley Business Advisor and Author; and Peter Sheahan, Founder/CEO/Best-selling author of ChangeLabs.
According to Staffing Industry Analysts, “The Executive Forum is the most prominent annual meeting for CEOs, owners, and senior level executives from all sectors and segments of the staffing industry. This event provides access to the top industry thinkers, leaders, and innovators, a focus on the staffing industry’s strategic issues, developing trends, future opportunities, current challenges, and an unparalleled opportunity for informal, peer networking as well as more formal deal-making.”
Click here to learn more about the 2014 Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum.
When staffing your facility it is very important to make sure you have a good nurse to patient ratio, as studies have shown much better patient outcomes with appropriate ratios. This is an issue that bringing in Travel Nurses can help address, keeping your facility fully staffed and avoiding nurse burnout. But beyond simple numbers of staff, it is also important to consider the length and quality of your nurse staff’s experience.
A recent Health Leaders Media article discussed a study done by Patricia A. Hickey, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, Vice President of Cardiovascular and Critical Care Services at Boston Children’s Hospital, which links clinical experience and pediatric patient outcomes. The study was published in the December 2013 Journal of Nursing Administration, and concluded that, “A cut point of 20% RNs or greater with 2 years’ clinical experience or less was determined to significantly affect inpatient mortality.” Data for the study was collected from 38 children’s hospitals.
In a nutshell, the study confirmed that while nurse staffing numbers matter greatly, the experience and education levels of the staff also factor in. So, while some hospital administrations may view older/more experienced nurses as simply more expensive, Hickey tells HLM that actually they are “priceless” when it comes to achieving proper patient care. Hickey went on to tell HLM:
“There is nothing more expensive than turnover… [the hiring process] is far more expensive than the salary that you’re going to pay to a senior nurse, and all nurse leaders know that. I think we now, for the first time, have illustrated why nurses deserve the salaries that they get — because they are saving lives and they are rescuing patients from bad outcomes.”
But Hickey certainly doesn’t mean for her study to cast out brand new nurses; of course nurses must gain experience somehow and all experienced nurses were once new. She advises an active period of support and mentoring for them, meanwhile allowing them to make up no more than 20 percent of a unit’s staff.
The industry standard for Travel Nurses is 2 year clinical experience before they can travel — which, according to Hickey’s study — bodes very well for facilities that staff with Travel Nurses!