In the healthcare industry, the war for talent is a seemingly endless battle. One of the keystones of your success lies in being able to find highly qualified nurses.
Yet staffing shortages persist and become even more pronounced as the demand grows thanks to recent changes in health insurance laws.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the U.S. is predicted to experience a shortfall of Registered Nurses (RNs) in the coming years. This shortage is expected to become particularly pronounced as the Baby Boomer generation ages and produces an increased demand for healthcare services.
As more people visit health providers, the need for nurses and other medical staff increases, yet finding people to fill these positions can be difficult in a competitive market. Local universities can be one of your most reliable and affordable sources of talented nurses.
How can colleges and universities in your area help you recruit great nurses to add to your medical staff?
Advertise Job Openings on School Job Networks
University job boards can be an excellent way to reach out to students who are set to graduate soon or alumni who have been out in the field for a few years. Universities are usually eager to have local employers post job vacancies on their online boards and many may circulate such information internally among students in their nursing departments. Recent graduates and other alumni also have access to these job boards, so it is a great way to reach out to nurses who have a little more experience and perhaps a stronger idea of what they are looking for in an employer.
Attend Job Fairs and Events
Universities often put on annual job fairs that can be a perfect opportunity to reach out to talented potential candidates who will be graduating soon. Consider hosting your own events as well and invite nursing students to visit your organization and get a first-hand look at what working for you might be like. Students in the consideration phase often need to visualize themselves working somewhere, so providing as much information as you can at this point can help attract the most enthusiastic and qualified applicants.
Establish Educational Relationships with Local Universities
Another way to establish relationships with nursing students is to offer nursing internships that provide practical experience as well as college credit. By establishing an educational relationship with your local universities, many of their best students will be able to actually spend time interning for your organization, giving them a real-life look at what it would be like to work for your business. Not only that, the interning experience allows employers to thoroughly assess potential candidates, pick from the best and hire much faster.
[Read more: ICU Nurse Interview Questions]
Ask Professors to Refer Their Best Students
College instructors can serve as one of your best source for nurse referrals. Focus on identifying the most highly recommended students at least one year before they graduate and begin engaging and building relationships with these up-and-coming nurses early on. By the time they graduate, they will be ready to look for their first post-education job and now is the time to attract those eager and qualified new nurses to your organization. You can also request these trusted instructors submit feedback on applicants as part of your automated reference checking process in order to acquire useful information on how candidates performed at school.
Recruiting great nurses will always present a challenge to healthcare organizations as long as the demand for new talent exceeds availability. In order to compete, it is essential to forge relationships with local universities and start recruiting nurses-in-training before they graduate. Take advantage of existing university networks to advertise open nursing positions and become an active participant at job fairs and other on-campus job events. By using an effective recruiting approach, local colleges and universities can become a great source of your next nurse.