Several studies have shown that the United States is experiencing an increased shortage of nurses which will continue into 2018. Many nurses in the baby boomer generation are finally retiring and younger professionals are simply not getting into the field. So how does a healthcare manager work to avoid a nursing shortage in their own facility? With some long-term planning, you can create an environment welcoming to current and future nurses and here’s how.
Invest in the best technology possible.
The future is coming whether we want it to or not, so facilities who aren’t willing to embrace the latest technology will suffer more in the nursing shortage than those who are. By utilizing the latest technology at all levels, you’re encouraging the best and brightest future nurses to consider working for your cutting-edge facility rather than another.
Create an inclusive work culture.
You also want to ensure that the culture of your department, unit, or facility is welcoming, diverse, and innovative. You want everyone to feel like they belong and their contributions are valued. By creating a workplace that values inclusion and diversity, you also open yourself up to new ideas and ways to solve problems. Create mentorship programs so new nurses can learn from your experienced staff before they leave the field themselves.
Don’t focus only on the short-term gains.
The real strategy with the nursing shortage is to focus on the long-term success of your organization rather than simply the short-term gains. Even if you are able to hire several new nurses at a time, if you’re not able to retain them you’ll find yourself back in the hunt again. Revamping your culture or looking into technology are just two ways you can increase nurse satisfaction.
Keep your staff happy and engaged.
To do this, focus on employee retention. Make sure that your nurses are happy and engaged in their job. Provide resources to help with stress management, maintain healthy lifestyles, encourage a positive work/life balance and be an overall employment partner rather than simply their employer. Allow for personal growth and development and support them throughout their career.
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