One common challenge hospitals that utilize travel nurses face is how to get them to buy into their hospital’s culture even though they are only there temporarily. Because this is a difficult thing to achieve many times, it may be easier to just dismiss the problem as just the nature of the travel nursing industry, but a nurse who buys into the hospital is going to be more engaged and more than likely going to deliver better patient care.
You are also potentially selling your hospital as a permanent job to a traveler so you want to make sure that the culture they experience is one that they would want to embrace on a full-time basis. And don’t forget how the Internet has changed what potential candidates know about your hospital with forums and sites like HealthcareTravelBook.com and NurseRatings.org that let nurses review the hospitals they work in.
Travelers are often known for traveling to avoid the hospital politics and drama so they can just focus on patient care, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to work in an environment where they feel needed, respected and motivated.
So what is the answer? How do you get a travel nurse to buy in?
Here are just 10 ideas:
- Don’t assume it is impossible
- Knowing it affects patient care, make it a priority
- Make culture part of your screening process when hiring travelers
- Show travelers immediately how they fit into your culture when they arrive
- Discuss your culture with the travel nursing companies you work with and let them know it is part of how you evaluate a candidate
- List your core values in the job descriptions you send the staffing companies you work with
- Assign a Core Values Coordinator role to one of your best perm staff who can help travelers understand your hospital’s
- Create a culture guide for travel nurses to have when they start – list any office etiquette or unwritten rules they need to know
- Try to create a culture they want to embrace – don’t force it
- Get their feedback – ask what they have seen or experienced at other hospitals that made them feel part of the culture during other assignments
What things do you do? What is your opinion on cultural buy in for travel nurses?