- It will provide you with a clear picture of the nurse candidate pool in your community
- It will give you a chance to evaluate your efforts and determine areas where more money, manpower or ingenuity is required
- It lets you establish goals to ascertain how successful your recruiting efforts have been
- It will let you see if it is it recruitment or the closing of the hire that is the problem
- It will give you quantifiable results you can use to argue the case for more resources to improve your recruiting effectiveness
These questions will help you evaluate your current nurse recruitment plan or establish one if you don’t currently have one in place.
- What were your best sources of new hires last year? You are tracking this right?
- How effective are your marketing efforts? Which media outlets brought you the best NOI (Nurse on Investment)? Move your budget to focus on only the top performing media avenues for you.
- Are job fairs and conferences paying off? How many hires or candidates did they result in? Again only go to those that are performing well and save the expense and manpower of attending those that don’t return on your investment. Also make sure you are utilizing them to their fullest by having nurse managers attend so that interviews and employment offers (assuming qualifying references, health screening, and credentialing verification will be done first of course) can be made on the spot.
- How many of your new nurses are coming from your employee referral program? This should be a fairly high number (between 40-60%). If it’s not then consider revamping the program by considering things like offering bonuses to employees and overall just making it more visible to your nurses and emphasize it weekly if not daily.
- Take a look at the application process at your hospital. How fast are candidates contacted after they apply? How often are they communicated with?
- What about walk-in candidates? Are they sent to an actual nurse recruiter or HR manager who can interview them on the spot? Or at the least answer their questions and arrange for a future interview?
- How long does it take to get a new nurse working after she has taken the job? Does that time-frame seem reasonable? What can be done to make it faster?
- What is your college outreach program? Do you have regular speaking engagements with the colleges and universities in the area? Do you take part in career days and make sure your positions are posted on their job boards?
- Do you have conversations with the local colleges and universities to help them develop curriculum that will deliver more qualified candidates to you?
- When is the last time you evaluated the current nurse market in your city and surrounding areas?
- When is the last time you looked at your competition who are also looking for nurse candidates in the community?
- Are you interviewing those that have turned down a position to find out why? You may find that it they are turning you down because of something that can be easily fixed orchanged or that you need to look at more impactful items like PTO, insurance or pay.
- Are you conducting follow-up new hire interviews? 90 days? 6 months?
- What about when nurses leave? Are you doing exit interviews to find out why?
Take these 14 items into consideration when looking at your hiring plan to help you evaluate your exisitng nurse recruitment plan or when starting a brand new one.
Here is a summary of their findings:
- All-in cost of full-time hospital nurses is an average $98 thousand per year (or $45 per hour). This assumes 100 percent productivity.
- Base wages on average represent 75 percent of fully loaded payroll and 57 percent of all-in cost. The remaining balance is made up of things like payroll tax, shift differential costs, overtime pay, holiday pay and paid time off, bonuses, pension contributions, and other costs.
- Besides base wages, other elements of the all-in cost include payroll tax, shift differential, and insurance, as well as costs such as holiday/paid time off, overtime, and training.
- There seem to be important additional “hidden” costs with nursing labor that are related to full-time nurses, but are difficult to quantify.
- About 66% of survey respondents use of traveling or per diem nurses currently with the main reasons being the quality of the travel nurses available and supply and demand.
- A 90:10 ratio of full-time employed nurses to traveling or other temporary nurses was seen as the ideal ratio on average.
Their findings further prove the value of the Staffing Cost Calculator that we developed here at Medical Solutions over two years ago. Our tool is an interactive way to directly compare the costs of a full-time nurse versus a traveler and also takes into consideration factors like nurse to patient ratios and the costs of nurse burnout.
You can download the Staffing Cost Calculator here. If you have questions contact your Medical Solutions Client Manager at 1-866-633-3548.
As you can tell we have a new website, logo and color scheme.
Our website has always been more focused on our travelers and that has not really changed. But for you, hospitals and healthcare facilities that work with Medical Solutions, it is just another progression in our efforts to bring you the best travel nurses available.
We launched some new features on it that we hope will attract even more high quality nurses to us so we can help you keep on delivering great patient care. The new features include:
- It is the travel nursing industry’s first mobile web site so travelers can access it and search for jobs anywhere
- An area where travel nurses can build a profile on the Medical Solutions home page
- Travelers that have built a profile can login through Facebook login
- A great new travel nurse job search where travelers can find your jobs
- We updated our skills checklists and added the ability for travelers to save them to our database once they are done
- Easy to use slide-out menue to shortcuts and a quick job search
- A “meet our team” page so you and our travelers can see the faces behind Medical Solutions
- A quick sign up on each page of the site to receive the Medical Solutions newsletter
We partnered with Staffing Robot to develop the site and they did an amazing job. They alsoworked with us to design our new logo and color scheme. We feel that they are more indictive of what Medical Solutions is all about than our old logo and colors were.
If you want to read more, here is a link to our press release about the travel nursing industrworld’s first fully mobile website
It’s that one week out of the year where nurses are celebrated they way should be celebrated all year. Or at least it supposed to be.
Over the years Nurses Week has stirred up mixed feelings among nurses about whether or not it is an honor or demeaning, but in the end it is just so important to recognize them for all they do to keeping us all healthy and alive.
What are you doing at your hospital to tell your nurses they rock? Or in your unit?
And don’t forget to check out our Nurses Rock! Nurses Week T-Shirt Design Challenge.
We recently discussed how important it is to have a travel nurse friendly hospital and how an anti-travel nurse culture gets started. Now we are going to discuss one of the easiest ways to improve the experience for travelers at your hospital, whether it is a already a good one you want to make better or a bad one that needs improved.
Instituting a simple two question exit interview with the travelers you work with based on Net Promoter Score (NPS) system is a great way to gauge the experience travelers have in your hospital.
Using this system you ask two questions:
- On a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to recommend this hospital to a fellow travel nurse?
- Why did you give that score?
The beauty of the NPS system is its simplicity. Think of it like a pain chart. Anything above 8 are considered Promoters, anything below 7 is considered a Detractor and 7 and 8 are neutral.
You obviously want all of them to be Promoters, but the real value is in the why. By evaluating the why answers you will be able to see trends and make improvements in the traveler culture at your hospital.
You can do this either in person, on the phone or automated through email, but how you do it is not nearly as important as what you do the information once you have it.
You can learn a lot more about NPS here: NetPromoter.com
This year the contest is going to be even better. The prizes are bigger and we have a new a partner in the contest, scrubadoo.com. They are pitching in $10 towards new scrubs for each participant who submits an approved design, so everyone wins.
The contest winners will be chosen based on a combination of votes at Fibers.com and a panel of judges from all three sponsoring companies.
The Grand Prize for the contest is an Apple iPad 2, $100 gift card to scrubadoo.com and $100 gift card to Fibers.com, plus one shirt of the winning design.
Click here to enter and learn more about the contest and the other prizes you can win: Nurses Rock! Nurses Week T-Shirt Design Challenge
Tell your staffs. Join as a team. Use our platform to host your own mini contest.
If you already have a traveler friendly hospital or unit and understand how important that is to offering great patient care then you don’t need to read this article. But if you are not sure where your culture falls on the traveler friendly scale then maybe the three minutes to read this may be worth your time.
How an anti-travel nurse culture starts
No hospital or unit within it would intentionally set out to have an anti-traveler culture, instead what happens more often is that efforts just are not made to build a traveler friendly culture and more ambivalent approach is taken in which travelers are seen as either a necessary evil or as just a temporary fix and not part of an overall personnel strategy. When this attitude is taken by the leadership it can also trickle down to the nurses on staff who either consciously or unconsciously pass it on during their interactions with the travel staff.
How word of an anti-travel nurse culture spreads
In travel nursing forums it is not uncommon to see discussions about hospitals that travelers had bad experiences at. This is an unfortunate thing to see. Not only for the traveler who rightly or wrongly felt they were treated in an anti-traveler manner during an assignment, but also for the hospital, because they may have just lowered their chances of getting the best travel nurses to come and work at their facility.
Travel nurses are often members of communities and participants in forums online such as:
It is in those environments where bad experiences are shared and bad reviews of their time at your hospital are discovered by other nurses who may be interested in working in there. So now even though a hospital may work with good travel nursing companies who recruit good nurses, offer a high rate that allows for a traveler to be paid well and is located in in a great area that nurses would love to live in for a few months, all of those benefits may be overshadowed by what is said about that hospital online.
How an anti-travel nurse culture gets worse
Once a culture that is unfriendly towards travelers has taken root in a hospital a viscous cycle can be created that just makes the culture less traveler friendly with every assignment. It goes something like this:
How an anti-travel nurse culture affects your hospital
As we just discussed, in the immediate, having a culture that is not traveler friendly is going to impact the quality of travelers you are able to attract to your hospital. It will also negatively impact the effectiveness of the travelers that work in your hospital by creating tense environments between travel staff and perm nurses where effective teamwork can be compromised. And of course poor teamwork can have a direct impact on the level of patient care you are able to provide, which is never a good thing for anyone involved.
How to fix it if your hospital has an anti-travel nurse culture
The first thing to do is to take a step back and look objectively at your own and your hospital or unit’s culture toward travelers. Ask any travelers you currently have working or contact previous ones to see what their experience at your facility is/was like. Once you know where you stand you will be able to go forward to make improvements.
Here are some previous Healthcare Staffing Blog posts that offer advice on creating a positive experience for travel nurses and the benefits of doing so.
- Travel nurses and hospital culture – Make sure they fit
- Makeover your unit by integrating travel nurses
- How do you orient travel nurses?
- Phone interview questions to make sure travel nurses will be a cultural fit
- How hospitals can make the most of travel nurses
- See the world through your travel nurse’s eyes
- 10 ideas to get travel nurses to buy into your culture
If not, it is something you should consider. Keeping an active list of the travelers your hospital has used can help you bring back travelers that were stars, instead of having to find and work with new ones that you are unfamiliar with.
You will also speed up the amount of time you spend evaluating profiles and interviewing potential new candidates.
Additionally by working with travelers that have worked at your facility in the past and that you and your permanent nurses are familiar with can reduce a lot of the challenges that nurse managers and HR managers have in working with travelers, including:
- Their unfamiliarity with your hospital’s policy and procedures
- The amount of time it takes to get a traveler up to speed
- Not knowing what you are going to get out of the traveler
The spreadsheet does not have to be anything fancy, but should include some basic items:
- Traveler’s Name
- Years of Experience
- Dates they Worked
- A Rating of their Performance
- The Travel Nursing Company they worked for and your contact there
- A special notes section about their performance
- A notes section for yourself to note personal things you may want to remember about them when they come back – this can help you make them feel more at home when they come back if for instance you remembered their kids’ names or what their hometown is.
Another benefit of keeping track of the travelers you work with is that over time you will be able to see any trends that develop. Not only about which travel nursing companies send you the travelers that fit into your hospital the best, but you will also be able to see what kind of travelers seem to perform best in your culture. This would be helpful if you ever need to hire a new travel nurse who will be new to your hospital you will have some extra information to provide your travel nursing vendor to help them find the right candidate for you.
To get you started we have created one for you.
Click here to download:
Using travel nurses in your unit can be a good idea for a lot of reasons, such as preventing burnout among your perm nurses, helping with a census level rise, natural staff attrition during a nursing shortage or dealing with a hospital expansion or system conversion.
However, one of the biggest challenges for nurse managers remains to be the integration of travel nurses into the unit and the hospital’s culture.
One way to deal with this challenge is to put yourself in the traveler’s shoes. It may not be realistic for you to do this literally (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you can manage it), but there are a lot of resources you can refer to to learn more what travelers go through when they are on assignment. And when you have seen the world through their eyes you will be able to develop procedures that help you integrate them into your unit better.
Here are some resources to look at:
- Healthcare Traveler Magazine – Reading this magazine will give you an in-depth look at the challenges that travel nurses face
- Ultimate Nurse- Reading the questions travel nurses and prospective travel nurses ask each other in forums ss a great way to see the world through their eyes
- Healthcare Travelbook – Spending some time in this social network for travelers will let you see how they relate to each other and rely on each other as resources for coping with the issues travel nurses face
- PAN Travelers- Reading about the issues and concerns raised on this ”Voice of Healthcare Travlers” will let you see how travelers view themselves and their status as travelers
In October last year we conducted a survey on the healthcare staffing industry. Our goals were to learn how we can improve hospital’s experiences with staffing companies and how we could better help hospitals meet their staffing needs.
We asked two simple questions:
- How would you rate your experience working with healthcare staffing companies / Medical Solutions?
- What is the primary reason for your score?
We have compiled the responses and broke them down into several common themes split between two categories:
- What you like about staffing agencies
- What you don’t like about staffing agencies
Here are the results if you are interested: Healthcare Staffing Satisfaction Survey Results