Jenn Duran is a dedicated nurse (RN, BSN) who has worked in multiple units within a hospital setting since her graduation from the Sacred Heart University BSN program in 2018. As a new nurse, Jenn shared what has influenced her career decisions and how she approached a recent job search during a national nursing shortage.
According to the American Nurses Association, by 2022 there will be more unfilled jobs in nursing than in any other profession. With many veteran nurses retiring during the pandemic, now is a critical time to improve retention programs for current entry level nurses and to develop recruitment plans to fill future openings.
Attracting New Nurses
With 996 baccalaureate nursing programs in the United States, colleges and universities are a major pool of new nurses looking for work.
For Jenn, her college experience was critical in deciding where to work after graduation. These important factors went into her decision to choose Yale New Haven Hospital medical-surgery as her first job:
1. In clinical rotations…
- a. An exceptionally supportive supervisor and positive experience during undergraduate clinical rotations
- b. Communication between university faculty and clinical site supervisors, creating a seamless out-of-the-classroom experience
- c. An employer presence at the on-campus nursing job fair with knowledgeable and friendly recruiters
- d. Guest lecturers and adjunct faculty who were active or retired Yale New Haven Hospital nurses
2. During the job search…
- a. An employer’s reputation and brand built upon high patient and employee satisfaction
- b. Transparency in job listings on desired shift, qualifications, pay, and other factors determining fit
- c. The opportunity to meet the manager face-to-face who was able to “sell” the unit and
- describe its strengths and desired growth areas
- d. Professional and timely communication during the recruitment and interview process
- e. Present and positive interactions with prominent nursing professional associations
3. Selecting the job…
- a. An outline of the comprehensive onboarding process reviewing the patient population, unit-specific goals, expectations, and duties
- b. Mentorship opportunities, continuing education, and preceptorships to develop her knowledge and skills
- c. Programs through Human Resources to shadow different units or identify career pathways
Retaining Entry Level Nurses
From her experience on a medical-surgical floor, Jenn discovered a love for treating oncology patients. This being her second entry-level nursing job search, Jenn honed in on a number of factors that were especially important to her:
- a. Employer reputation for positive treatment of nurses throughout the pandemic
- b. Consistently adequate staffing of nurses
- c. A positive history of employer interactions with unions (if applicable)
- d. High ratings on state and national healthcare standards
- a. Beyond just pay:, transparency on mandatory holidays, overtime, sick time, tuition reimbursement, and more
- b. Clear rotation schedule and shift flexibility
- c. Opportunity for professional development funds, attending conferences, and pursuit of higher education
3. Employee satisfaction
- a. A generally supportive work environment and culture of a floor, building, or healthcare system
- b. An emphasis on wellbeing including programming, work-life boundaries, and health initiatives
- c. The ability for nurses to provide feedback to management and be involved with decision-making committees
- d. Employee recognition programs highlighting above-and-beyond nurses
- e. Internal promotion programs with high rates of internal employee promotion
Jenn’s journey as a new nurse working throughout the pandemic is consistent with the stories and lessons many other nurses have shared of working during a national nursing shortage.
However, with the right strategies, Human Resources and Talent Recruitment Specialists can begin to fill these outstanding openings and enhance healthcare reputations for exceptional care of both their patients and employees.
For more crucial information on hiring nurses throughout a national nurse shortage, read the YM Careers Network Guide to Recruiting & Hiring Nursing Staff in 2021.