Over the last year, many hospitals have experienced staffing shortages. Your hospital needs temporary nursing staff to fill the gaps, and finding just the right fit for your facility and staff is crucial to continuing the level of excellent care you are accustomed to providing for your patients. Where do you find such nurses?
Using a travel staffing agency can streamline the process, making it simple to hire temporary staff to fulfill your needs.
Take HR Off Your Plate
A staffing agency will do the hard work of an HR onboarding process for you, plowing through piles of applications and conducting phone interviews and background checks, then sitting for hours at a conference table on second or third interview rounds. The agency’s recruitment process finds nurses who are qualified to work in a variety of specializations, present their resumes and references to you, and allow hiring managers to take the process from there.
Essentially, the travel nurses are employed by the agency rather than the hospital. This means that agencies also take care of payroll, medical insurance, and workman’s comp for their employees.
The staffing agency is also responsible for clinical examinations, physical exams, drug screens, and any paperwork required by the hospital. Having the travel nurse agency handle this process keeps your logistics simple while keeping your standards high.
Widen the Hiring Pool
Because of the staffing agency’s process, this opens up a wide pool of candidates to fill your open positions. The agency can find you the best of the best, including those experienced in the specializations you may need. Be sure to find and work with a staffing agency with a history of providing such quality candidates.
While sites such as Indeed or Monster have a wide list of travel nursing resumes and candidates, weeding through such a large pool can be daunting for a hospital’s hiring manager. Using a staffing agency also provides a volume of potential candidates, but with the added benefit of narrowing the choices to those that fit your specific staffing needs.
Be Prepared to Fill Gaps
Staffing agencies keep careful track of their nurses’ licenses and certifications. Nurses who are properly licensed can be ready to work in a matter of days, and the agency can keep the process moving by providing their nurses with opportunities to obtain the licenses they need, securing housing, and helping with travel arrangements.
Especially during flu season and other cold seasons, a hospital’s need for temporary nurses can vary widely depending on the year. Some years you may not have much in the way of staffing gaps, while other years, if flu season is bad (or as we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic), you can become incredibly short-staffed in a very short period of time. Having an on-going working relationship with a staffing agency can help you fill those gaps quickly and efficiently.
Finding the Right Culture Fit
It can be difficult to find a good match between the hospital culture you’ve worked hard to create and a temporary nurse who may not know your system. Staffing agency recruiters get to know the nurses they work with, and can recommend strong matches between their nurses and medical facilities. Agencies can personalize their knowledge of their nurses and recommend them for assignments that fit their preferences professionally and personally (housing, location, etc.).
Ongoing Support for Nurses
When a travel nurse has issues while on a travel assignment, they can choose to reach out to their staffing agency recruiter for support. By reaching out to the agency first, issues such as housing or work load can be handled and solutions can be found more efficiently without having to wait on answers from hospital leadership.
On the other hand, the staffing agency handles any HR-related complaints that may crop up about a travel nurse. Bringing the agency in to deal with mistakes made on the travel nursing job makes the process easy for hospital administration and creates a sense of advocacy for the nurses themselves.
Make Any Location Appealing for Travel Nurses
Travel nurses often choose the profession because of the excitement of traveling. If you are in a desirable location, many candidates will want to choose your facility; having an agency helps you narrow down that field to qualified and properly licensed candidates. For example, the most popular location for travel nurses tends to be somewhere like Hawaii (of course); and while you can understand that sentiment, hospitals can’t afford to accept less than excellent candidates for their location.
If you are in a less popular region, an agency can work with you to provide a working and living situation that will be enticing to quality travel nurses. They can present the pay package you offer as well as housing that will fit the needs of the traveling nurses they employ.
Many travel nurse staffing agencies were started by registered nurses who understand the industry and the medical community. Find one that fits your logistical needs as well as proving to have access to a wide pool of very qualified candidates. Ultimately, if you are going to use temporary nurses to fill gaps in your staffing needs, travel nurses can be an excellent way to meet those needs. Building and maintaining a strong relationship with a travel nurse staffing agency can assist you with making sure you continue to provide the most excellent care possible for your patients.
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