2021 Nursing Shortage Forces Hospitals to Rethink Their Approach
The healthcare industry is currently facing a shortage of nurses. Nurses are the backbone of healthcare, and this shortage has serious repercussions for hospitals and patients. However, many hospitals are taking different approaches to deal with this issue. In this blog post, we'll look at five approaches that hospitals are taking to address the nursing shortage in 2021.
1. Investing in Long-term Training and Professional Development
Many hospitals have started to send their existing nurses on training courses to develop new skills to meet the nurse shortage challenge. Nurses who are willing to undergo additional training are rewarded with better pay, benefits, and career opportunities. This approach would also help the hospital retain its talented nurses instead of losing them to other jobs or industries.
2. Providing Positive and Supportive Work Environment
There is nothing more discouraging than a hostile and stressful work environment. Most nurses are overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do, particularly in high-pressure environments. As a result, many hospitals are helping their staff cope with stress and pressure by providing positive and supportive working conditions. From offering flexible working hours to ensuring every staff member passes a thorough background check for employment, hospitals are developing better ways to provide a positive work environment for nurses.
3. Initiating a "Return to Nursing" Program
Some hospitals are promoting a nursing career by running special campaigns like Return to Nursing. The campaign involves a structured program that introduces people outside of the nursing industry to this career opportunity. You can also consider running similar campaigns in your hospital or clinic, educating patients and families waiting for healthcare services about the benefits of becoming nurses. They will then encourage their relatives and friends to join the nursing industry as well. This will lead to an increase in the number of potential nurses.
4. Recruit Nursing Students at an Earlier Stage
Many students are pursuing nursing to meet the challenge and help people in need. However, many of them change their minds when they realize that being a nurse is not as easy as it was made out to be. Instead of letting these students leave hospitals, many hospitals consider hiring them at an earlier stage. This gives them an excellent opportunity to teach the students about the challenges of this career and prepare them for what is ahead. You can also use this chance to get feedback from nursing students as they may offer valuable insights into how your hospital can improve and better serve patients.
5. Identifying and Retaining Qualified Nurses with the Help of Patient Feedback
Patient satisfaction is something that affects both patients and nurses. The nursing staff serves a vital role in the overall patient experience, so many hospitals run regular surveys to find out how patients feel about their hospital visits. If the hospital survey shows that patients are unhappy with the quality of nursing care, the hospital re-evaluates its staffing to ensure that patients are receiving proper care.
6. Some Consider Hiring Foreign Nurses as an Option
Foreign nurses can be hired to fill in the gap for local nursing staff shortage. Many hospitals are hiring foreign nurses who have advanced skills and training. However, it is essential to ensure that they run a proper screening process as these international candidates may not be familiar with their healthcare system and guidelines. It can also take a significant amount of time to train foreign nurses when they first start working in some hospital.
As the need for healthcare services rises, hospitals have continued to face difficulties in finding enough qualified nurses. Hospitals take a few simple steps to develop new ways of attracting potential nurses and retain their existing staff to tackle this issue. These include improving pay, benefits, and career development opportunities for nurses and promoting nursing as an attractive career choice to encourage students to pursue nursing in the first place. These strategies have enabled many hospitals to cope with the challenge of nurse shortage in 2021.