Hospital Staffing Shortages: Filling Positions Temporarily to Permanently

For decades hospitals have had trouble filling all of their available positions and keeping them filled. Difficulties between staff, different staff personalities and how various situations and routines are handled, level of pay, shortage of nursing and doctoral graduates, and a series of other problems have prevented hospitals from keeping all of their positions filled. In some of the worst scenarios, there are not enough nurses and doctors to staff around the clock positions; ergo, patient care levels are not what they should be.

If your hospital is suffering from a lack of staff, and you know that it is necessary to maintain a fully-staffed hospital for better patient care, here is how you can fill those positions temporarily to permanently.

Offer Major Bonuses

The Board of Directors would have to approve it, but sign-on bonuses and retention bonuses are definitely worth it to get quality staff hired and to keep them. Offer nurses a flat rate bonus at hiring, which they receive on their checks after three months. Then offer them another flat rate bonus that is higher than the first six months after that, and then offer an annual bonus to all nurses that stay more than one year.

As for doctors, bonuses are negotiable, based on their chosen practice and level of notoriety in their fields. Doctors will go where the money is, and offering sign-on bonuses that they cannot refuse is how you get the best doctors possible. 

Recruit from Nursing Schools and the Interns That Come Through

Nursing schools are happy to provide hospitals with lists of nursing students who are going to graduate at the top of their classes. They can also provide you with lists of students who are interested in working for your hospital. As for the doctors, recruit from third-year interns who are starting to look for places to practice medicine once their rotation is complete. Ask all of the supervising doctors which of the interns seem to have the most promise/do the best work, and then recruit from those candidates. 

Find Staff via Temp Agencies

There are many excellent temp agencies out there that focus on nursing and medical staff. This is a nice way to "try before you buy" by working with the temps to weed out the good staff from the mediocre staff. Then you can buy out the contracts of the temporary staff from the agency and hire the temporary staff on as full-time employees. To learn more about filling hospital staffing positions, contact services such as SOS Healthcare Staffing.

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