New Recruiting Tools Seek To Combat Nursing Shortage
Hospitals in California are using new recruiting techniques to hire more nurses and reduce a shortage that is failing to meet a growing population demand, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
California is short 4,696 registered nurses, according to a May report from the Legislative Analyst's Office. The shortage is projected to more than double by 2014, according to the report.
As the shortage doubles, California's population is expected to grow 10%, and the proportion of residents 65 and older will increase by 25%.
Along with the growing population, the shortage also is caused by a lack of graduates from nursing schools.
More than half of the 28,400 applicants to state nursing schools in 2006 were turned away because the schools had only 11,000 available slots. A shortage of funding and faculty make it difficult for colleges to add more spaces, according to the LAO report.
The report also found that one-quarter of community college nursing students never graduate.
Traditional recruitment techniques, such as an open house or job fair booth, no longer generate enough nursing applicants for hospitals, according to the Union-Tribune.
Some health care systems in Northern California are giving nursing students thousands of dollars in bonuses in exchange for guarantees to work at their hospitals upon graduation.
Vic Buzachero, senior vice president for human resources at Scripps Health in San Diego, said the health care provider this summer is holding a virtual job fair that will let candidates participate in online chats and interviews with recruiters.
Other hospitals are using direct mail advertising to target candidates who live near the facilities, as turnover is usually lower among nurses with short commutes.
In many cases, the recruiting has targeted other hospital jobs that are difficult to fill, such as pharmacist, radiology technologist and physical therapist (Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/17).