The Truth About Hiring Nurses in 2021

Oct 12, 2021

There’s a reason most recruiting firms don’t source both physicians and nurses: the two are incredibly different. It takes a savvy recruiter to understand both. At Inline, our team diligently searches for insights, no matter the provider type. Since adding nurse recruiting to our services, we’ve learned a lot. Here’s some observations we’ve made along the way that can help you in your own search:

Nurses don’t want to leave your organization (but they will)

Among those nursing specialties with the highest turnover rate (behavioral health, step down/PCU, and emergency services), the cumulative turnover rate is between 96.6% - 98.5% over five years. This means you’ll replace almost your entire nursing staff in that short span of time. So what can you do to prevent this? There are two pieces of information to consider first:

  1. Stressful work environment and career advancement are two top reasons nurses resign.
  2. Nurses are more likely to want to leave their unit than their organization.

This presents an opportunity for increased employee retention. Does your facility provide transition programs between units? Have you reflected on which units in your own facility have high turnover rates? By addressing burnout before it happens, you have the chance to keep more nurses on your payroll and be prepared for the openings in those high-turnover units. 

COVID-19 increased the competition

Our candidate advisors speak with nurses daily. Now, more than ever before, nurses have options for where they work. And there’s an obvious goal for the majority of RNs: find a less stressful work environment. This means hospitals may have a harder time hiring nurses than clinics and offices. While the appeal of a days-only/no-weekends schedule has always been an advantage, COVID created an even bigger group of nurses who simply don’t want to work in a hospital setting. 

For offices and clinics, this means using this selling point as an advantage when recruiting. For hospitals, this means leveraging your other benefits and appealing to nurses' needs. While you may not be able to offer a 9-5 schedule, you should try to meet them somewhere in the middle in order to keep your opportunities high priority in their job search.

Keep your search close to home

When you begin your RN search, it can be hard to know where to look. If your facility is in Texas, you may want to market your opening to every nurse in the state. If your facility is in Connecticut, you might want to market to all of New England. While it’s smart to consider all possibilities, our team has learned that nurses typically will stay close to home when considering new opportunities. 

However, don’t take this information as discouraging to the size of your search. Our conversations with nurses have also taught us that the passive RN candidate is very likely to express interest in a new opportunity if it offers more than their current position. “Offering more” can mean anything from salary to growth opportunities. Having an understanding of your competing facilities and what they offer nurses will help you understand how you can stand out to the local nursing community.

As our advisors continue to speak to candidates daily, we learn more and more about the best recruiting strategies for hiring nurses. To learn more about these insights, schedule a consultation with our team today.