In the last few months, the pandemic has shown us how woefully underprepared we are when it comes to trained healthcare practitioners. With overflowing hospitals and exhausted medical professionals, healthcare institutions, governments, and other stakeholders have become aware of what they need to do.
One area that has been focussed on has been the growing importance of trained, licensed, and experienced nurses. We have all seen stories of how nurses have prioritized the service of COVID-afflicted patients over their own safety and that of their families.
If data is to be believed, the number of vacancies for nurses is growing across the length and breadth of the country. Hospitals, nursing care facilities, old-age homes, and in-home medical services are looking to hire more and more nurses to keep up with the growing demand. Professions such as bmt travel nursing positions are also amazing opportunities.
In this regard, nurse staffing agencies have emerged as a key help from these institutions. In this resource article, we look at how healthcare facilities should choose a nurse staffing agency. If you are someone that is looking to hire nurses for their institution, you should read the article.
Why is there a Growing Demand for Nurses in the United States?
First things first. The US Bureau of Labour in its study concludes that the country requires at least 3.5 million nurses by the 2021-year end. The demand for nurses has been fuelled by two key factors-
- Firstly, there are more and more patients that are seeking medical assistance from healthcare institutions. Poor lifestyle choices, an increase in road accidents, along growth in chronic illnesses are to be blamed for this.
- Secondly, there is a growing pressure on healthcare facilities to follow governmental norms and regulations on staffing. With semi-urban and rural areas falling way behind in terms of creating specialized care centers to prevent overburdening of city hospitals.
Both these factors mean that healthcare facilities are looking to create far more sustainable staffing solutions. This will help them improve the quality of medical assistance along with ensuring that nurses do not suffer from over-exhaustion after working 40-hour shifts.
Three Important Things to Consider when Choosing a Nurse Staffing Agency
In this section, we are going to look at three important areas that healthcare institutions need to focus on when choosing a nurse staffing agency-
- Registered Compact Nursing States-
There have been many regulations put forth that have tried to put in place mechanisms that allow nurses to work in different states.
A nursing compact state agreement means that nurses do not have to sit for any specific state-based tests or get registrations to practice. This allows for faster movement of nurses from one to another depending upon the needs and requirements.
At present, more than 35 states have enacted this legislation and implemented the same. This is a great step in the right direction that brings in greater flexibility in healthcare staffing.
- Speed of Nursing Placements and Hiring Processes-
Whenever healthcare facilities need nurses, they require so at a moment’s notice. This means that the nurse staffing agency needs to move as fast as possible when it comes to sending nurses for placements.
Sometimes, this can get frantic and this is why it is essential to pay attention to this factor. If a healthcare facility requires nurses, the staffing agency should be ready to send it to them.
Delays can lead to loss of business, as well as affect lives. It is essential that healthcare facilities check-in with nurse staffing agencies for the speed of placements.
- The Price and Affordability of the Staffing Process-
Registered Nurses (RNs) that are trained and experienced are an asset. Healthcare institutions should understand that prices in this industry correspond directly to the quality that is being sought.
Hiring on an ad-hoc basis can drain businesses over the long run. This is why most facilities are not looking at long-term hiring solutions.
More than being fixated on the price, businesses should look at focussing on the value, quality, and benefits that they are receiving from the nurse staffing agency. Hiring cheaper nurses can affect the quality of the medical service.
The Bottom Line
One of the major areas that healthcare institutions need to focus on is hiring quality nurses. This is because, at the end of the day, if the level of care and concern is high, you can expect your healthcare facility to do better. Checking for experience, training courses, and areas of specialization can help healthcare companies with their nurse staffing and hiring processes. If you would like to help us address your nurse staffing needs, feel free to get in touch in the comments section below.