Recruiting Nurses for Optimal HCAHPS Performance

Recruiting Nurses for Optimal HCAHPS Performance

The first step in improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) performance is recruiting nurses with a focus on long-term retention. The national turnover rate for bedside RNs was 16.8% in 2017 with an average associated cost of $38,000 to $61,000 per nurse. Nursing turnover impacts each hospital’s bottom line, with costs averaging from $4.4 million to $7 million annually (source).

Multiple Costs of Turnover

More importantly, high nursing turnover negatively affects morale, quality of care, and HCAHPS scores. When there is a critical acute need to satisfy scheduling demands, hospitals cannot afford the luxury of being proactive in their recruitment efforts. Unfortunately, patching a schedule full of holes causes rapid hiring decisions instead of considering a quality applicant.

There are connections between patient perceptions of their health care experience and nurse staffing ratios. The hospitals with the highest number of nursing hours per patient day consistently rate higher on HCAHPS scores than other facilities. Nurses and patients alike thrive in a positive nurse work environment. But recruiting nurses with long-term retention factors is only half the battle.

Revisiting the Recruitment Process

Health systems have to streamline their recruitment process to re-focus on hiring and retaining nurses with targeted HCAHPs behaviors like responsiveness, ability to listen, and audience awareness. When interviewing candidates, it is essential to identify how the nurse will communicate with and answer patients. Optimal applicants will treat the patient with respect, communicate effectively, and respond quickly.

Hospitals must strive to recruit candidates who are committed to their work, patients, and the organization. When hospitals remain competitive to hire and retain talent, patients stand to benefit. Top-quality employees make for top-quality organizations and nurses are at the forefront.

Caitlin Goodwin MSN, RN, CNM is a Board Certified Nurse-Midwife and freelance writer. She has ten years of nursing experience and graduated with a MSN from Frontier Nursing University. 

Graduate Student Nurses Face Enrollment Concerns Over a Critical Shortage of Health Care Providers

Graduate Student Nurses Face Enrollment Concerns Over a Critical Shortage of Health Care Providers

The United States is facing a critical shortage in all health care professions. With the nation’s baby boomer population approaching retirement age, the issue is twofold: the aging population requires more care, and the nation’s physicians, nurses, and other health professionals are retiring.

Too Many Students, Not Enough Options

The solution to filling this gap is replacing the departing health care professionals with nursing graduates of all academic levels. However, many higher education institutions are turning away suitable candidates in droves. In 2016, nursing degree programs in the U.S. rejected 64,067 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs alike citing a lack of budget, faculty, clinical sites and preceptors, and classroom space.

Currently, there is a serious shortage of physicians, which continues to grow. By 2025, there will be a projected deficit of nearly 35,600 primary care doctors alone. Nursing schools are facing the struggle and strain to increase the capacity of existing nursing programs, and explore other avenues like online courses and accreditation.

Higher Education Means Higher Pay

Enrollment is increasing in nursing masters and doctoral programs across the country, and it’s no wonder that nurses are applying to graduate schools en masse. RNs realize there are significant perks to training and becoming an advanced practice registered nurse. Evidence shows that the quality of care by an advanced practice nurse is comparable to physicians, while often more affordable.

The full-time annual salary for a Nurse Practitioner (NP) averages $105,546. The high pay range of the NP may be partly to blame for the faculty shortage—higher compensation in the clinical setting is luring potential educators away from teaching.

Most vacant faculty positions require a terminal nursing degree. If more nurses pursue a doctoral degree, the faculty shortage will be alleviated. What will the outcomes of the nursing shortage be? Only time will tell.

Caitlin Goodwin MSN, RN, CNM is a Board Certified Nurse-Midwife and freelance writer. She has ten years of nursing experience and graduated with a MSN from Frontier Nursing University.    

OPM Recruitment Strategies for Graduate Student Nurses

OPM Recruitment Strategies for Graduate Student Nurses

Online Program Management companies (OPMs) are taking the online nursing education market by storm. As higher education institutions compete to meet student expectations in a digital world, OPMs create, manage, and market education programs for these schools at a cost. These corporations shoulder upfront costs of developing and setting up the virtual nursing degree programs so universities don’t have to.

Building Out Both Traditional And Virtual Classrooms

While traditional colleges and universities are well-established contenders in the arena of in-person, face-to-face education, OPMs allow these institutions to branch out and offer nursing education online. Remote graduate nursing students have unique schedules and needs, so a different skill set is required to recruit them, as opposed to the conventional classroom student.

From a recruitment standpoint, OPMs provide a valuable service on the front-end. OPMs deliver innovative marketing to prospective and future students in this technological era with the return of a sizable applicant pool for their higher education clients.

A Conscionable Approach to Nursing Education?

But not everything is promising with this organizational model. Many professionals in higher education share the same concerns about the integrity of the Online Program Management model—that the conflicting goals of education for the greater good and business revenue by a corporation are incompatible.

By outsourcing their online nursing programs and subsequent marketing, traditional universities stand to lose authenticity in their brand and transparency in their recruitment efforts. Are OPMs merely filling desks or targeting students who fit the culture and philosophy of the institution?

While the moral ramifications of recruiting by OPM are unknown and will continue to be debated, the results are clear. The fact that the OPM market is a billion-dollar business implies that they are doing something right.

Caitlin Goodwin MSN, RN, CNM is a Board Certified Nurse-Midwife and freelance writer. She has ten years of nursing experience and graduated with a MSN from Frontier Nursing University.

 


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