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Travel nurses and hospital culture – Make sure they fit

mismatched socksOne continual challenge of using travel nurses to meet staffing needs in your hospital is the culture fit of the nurse into your unit. This is understandable considering how short of a time they are in your hospital and how little information you have about them before they get there and vice-versa. Compare this to what you would know about a potential permanent nurse who you were able to interview in person and it is easy to see how ensuring a culture fit using a traveler RN can be a challenge.

This is an area where staffing companies should definitely always work on improving, but as a nurse manager or HR professional there are some things you can do internally as well at your hospital.

One of the simplest is to take the time to outline exactly what your culture is and communicate it to your contacts at the travel nursing companies you work with. Whether it is a page on your website or a culture manual just for travelers, the mere act of putting it together will not only help you lay out what you expect of travelers when they arrive, but will also help you see any areas that may pose a challenge for a traveler when they arrive and consequently get your brain started on simple solutions.

Finding the time to do this may not be easy, but it needs to be looked at as an investment of your time. The more effective you are at eliminating poor culture fits up front means the less time you and your travel nursing company will have to spend dealing with them as personnel issues later. Culture training needs to be part of your travel nurse orientation process.

This website has a lot of good articles, tips and tools for building a great culture so check it out. 

And for a look at one of the most famous company culture icons of business check out Zappos’ culture section of their website.

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Jeff

My name is Jeff Long. I’m the Marketing Manager at Medical Solutions, one of the leading travel nursing companies. I have never been a nurse and am not a recruiter. I have worked at Medical Solutions for five years and think it is a great company that has a lot to offer nurses and allied health professionals interested in a travel career and the hospitals that staff them.