7 in 10 Nurses Feel Burned Out at Work

May 8th, 2017 Comments off

Just in time for National Nurses Week, CareerBuilder released a study on the state of nurses in the workforce, particularly as it pertains to job satisfaction. According to the study, 70 percent of nurses say they feel burned out, and 54 percent report high stress levels. When asked what was causing the burnout, 50 percent of nurses reported feeling tired all the time, 35 percent cited sleepless nights, and 33 percent reported weight gain. High anxiety and depression were also contributing factors.

But nurses aren’t the only ones struggling in the workplace. Nursing jobs, which have grown 6 percent since 2012, are expected to grow 7 percent over the next five years, and employers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand. According to the study, 56 percent of health care employers currently have open positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates.

What Does This Mean For You?

When it comes to alleviating burnout, employers do not offer much support. Seventy-eight percent of nurses say their employers don’t offer classes or programs to help employees manage stress. Putting programs in place to help employees manage stress, however, could be a wise business decision.

High stress levels among workers have been linked to lower productivity, higher turnover, increased absenteeism and more on-the-job mistakes – all of which can have a negative effect on the business.

Stop burnout before it starts. Make sure you are checking in with your employees on a regular basis to ensure they are getting the support they need to perform their jobs, manage their workloads and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Get more details from the study here.

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Is the Growing Skills Gap Causing Nurse Burnout?

May 4th, 2017 Comments off
Emotional stress of young doctor

The burgeoning skills gap in our nation is probably something you’ve heard a lot about. Employers across all industries are struggling to find the right talent to fill their open positions. Nursing, the backbone of U.S. health care, is not immune to this growing talent shortage – 56 percent of health care employers say they currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates, seven percentage points higher than any other industry surveyed.

Meanwhile, the number of nursing jobs is increasing at an accelerated rate. CareerBuilder’s analysis of the labor market shows the number of nursing jobs (RN and LPN) in the U.S. grew 6 percent from 2012 to 2016 to 3.5 million, and is expected to grow another 7 percent from 3.6 million in 2017 to 3.9 million in 2021.

Employers looking everywhere for the right talent
As nursing jobs increase, employers are struggling to find qualified talent to fill job vacancies. CareerBuilder research looked at the number of unique (or de-duplicated) nursing job postings in Q1 2017 and compared that to the total number of job postings for nurses – meaning how many times those unique job postings were posted on other sites – to find a stat called the posting intensity ratio. The higher the posting intensity ratio, the more effort employers are putting toward hiring.

In Q1 2017, the average number of unique job postings for registered nurses was 178,586, but the total number of job postings for registered nurses in that timeframe was 1,749,900 – a ratio of 10:1. That means every unique job listing for registered nurses was posted an average of ten times on different sites, signaling a highly competitive hiring environment where employers are using multiple touch points to try to reach potential job candidates.

Talent shortage may lead to burnout
This skills gap is leaving nurses currently on staff with larger workloads and longer hours. Day-to-day demands and high pressure situations have 7 in 10 nurses saying they feel burnt out in their current job, and 54 percent of nurses rating their stress level at work as high.

The effects of stress are real – nurses report feeling tired all the time (50 percent), experiencing sleepless nights (35 percent), weight gain (33 percent), high anxiety (32 percent), aches and pains (32 percent) and depression (19 percent).

Seventy-eight percent of nurses say their company does not offer classes or programs to help employees manage stress.

How you can combat nurse burnout and fill your skills gap

  • Build relationships with nurses in the community. In order to recruit nurses, merely posting jobs no longer cuts it. Employers need to build relationships with nurses in their communities. Creating a network of nursing talent will help you build your pipeline of candidates.
  • Recognize nurse burn out, and provide the right tools. Burned out nurses are causing harm not only to themselves – long-term high levels of stress can be a major detriment to one’s health – but they can also be putting their patients at risk. Make sure your nurses are getting the support they need by offering a flexible work environment, encouraging exercise, establishing an open door policy and offering mental health tools.
  • Focus on continued education. Talk to nurses about career ladders, and encourage them to take classes in areas they’d like to grow. Establish a mentorship program and encourage team members to seek each other out for advice. Encourage team bonding and the formation of solid, trusting relationships– colleagues are an important source of support at work.

For more advice on filling your nursing skills gap, check out these blog posts:


Pro Tips For Hiring in the Senior Care Space

July 27th, 2016 Comments off
Tips For Hiring in the Senior Care Space

There has been a lot of chatter about the nursing shortage and other issues faced by the health care recruitment community, but the opportunities and challenges of hiring in the senior care space are a bit unique. We wanted to know what it takes to work in this niche space and how to successfully identify and recruit individuals who will excel in this unique environment.

So we sat down with Sheryl Messenger — HR director at Sedgebrook Retirement Community in the Lincolnshire, IL location — and LauraAshley Parrish — director of HR at The Cypress of Charlotte, a retirement community in Charlotte, NC — to discuss their recruitment insights.

Here’s what they shared:

What are some of your top challenges recruiting within the senior care space?

Sheryl: One thing that differentiates us from other medical and health care fields is that we deal with seniors and, even for those who are in the non-direct care area, we need to have people who are comfortable working with the elderly and also being in a position of having relationships with people who when they leave our community, it is a permanent leave. The issue of dealing with death and being able to handle and cope with that as well as getting the right staff to be able to care for those who are very fragile. You can be a CNA in a hospital or a tech who does tests. [But] when you’re in the senior care field, [there needs to be a lot of] relationship building.

That’s one of the differences between dealing with most recruiting and having people who can handle that kind of emotional stress and still be able to go on and do their jobs every day.

Do you have personality tests to determine the type of individuals who can handle that?

LauraAshley: Our population here [at The Cypress of Charlotte] is very high with dementia and Alzheimer’s; we don’t [deal] as much with employees being able to handle the hospice piece and the lives [like Sheryl and her team] — it’s more about being able to handle the daily interactions with members due to things they say or do or repetition that can become very frustrating when you’re dealing with it for eight hours a day.

We have a few things in place regarding how we recruit: We have two heavily-populated hospitals here in Charlotte and so we don’t have a lot of people we select who have that background because they haven’t dealt with [the population we have to tend to] in a hospital [setting]. They’re typically in a little more fast-paced [environment], whereas we’re a little slower-paced and it’s an 8-hour versus 12-hour shift. So we tend to stay away from individuals who only have a hospital background and are looking [instead] for somebody who’s a newer grad and hasn’t developed what we call “bad habits,” as well as individuals who have worked in a home-care setting, long-term care that’s a little more similar to us.

We have an extensive behavioral interview process that goes through those situations and we throw out scenarios [such as]: “How would you handle it if someone one minute asks you this question and five minutes later you’re getting the same question?”

And we, on purpose, ask them the same question multiple times throughout the interview to see if they are going to get frustrated with that and to see how they handle it. We have a good measuring tool right then to see if they’re getting frustrated or staying relaxed because what they deal with on a daily basis with the members is going to be far worse than me asking the same question three times in an interview.

What are the key types of positions you’re hiring for? Within senior care space, are there any roles on the patient care side where you’re seeing shortages or have a hard time hiring for?

Sheryl: We hire everything from housekeepers and cooks to managers, maintenance, finance people, [etc.]. In our area, we’re having difficulty hiring CNAs primarily because in our immediate area we have probably 12 new communities that are going up — primarily rental and assisted living and dementia — and that workload is much lighter in terms of the physical workload compared to skilled nursing, so we lose some of our people to the lighter workload; and also there just aren’t enough to go around.

Have you found any good places to source CNAs?

Sheryl: We partner with College of Lake county and their CNA training program – their classes do clinicals in our community so that we actually have a chance to see them work and can pick the cream of the crop as they graduate. We’d like to have people with a little more experience, but if we can get them on the front-end and train them the way we want them to be trained, that’s a good thing, too.

LauraAshley: We have the opposite problem here. We can find CNAs all day long but finding RNs is hard.

[We find that] the new graduates who come in don’t want to work here because they hear long-term care or assisted living or skilled nursing and think it’s not going to be a skill set they’re going to want to work with. But once they come on board and see what we do and can [understand] the relationship they build with the members — versus in a hospital setting where, best case scenario, you have them for 21 days — the ones who are in it for the right reasons really want to have that relationship with the patients and see that this is a better opportunity for them than one of our hospital systems.

We’re doing the same thing as Sheryl [in terms of] partnering with the colleges and educating [them] on what we do versus what they think we do.

Talking about employer branding, what are some ways you try to attract new grads?

LauraAshley: We’ve taken the approach of a country club — instead of focusing on the fact that we are skilled nursing or home care, we focus more on the hospitality piece, the atmosphere, the environment. We have a gorgeous property here, so we’ve really played that up and tied it into the environment they’ll be working in. We started doing that about six months ago and we’ve seen some success with that.

Can you think of anything you did five years ago that wouldn’t work now to attract the right candidates?

Sheryl: We used to be able to do recruiting on a more personal level — we used to be able to post flyers in local grocery stores and in church bulletins [etc.]. We had a lot of ways to get to a person on a more direct level — those things have disappeared.

Our best source of recruiting are our current employees. From time to time, we run a special on referral bonuses because we need their help. We have longevity in terms of our employees [and] if they love working here and they’re doing a good job, then they’re our best source of the next good employee. Most CNAs and most nurses have more than one job in long-term care, so they’re working somewhere else [too] and they’ll [tell people there that they] should come work at Sedgebrook.

LauraAshley: I agree with everything Cheryl just said and will also add too that social media [is a] huge factor for us. We’ve gone from where I used to see people would apply to a job based on job title, [but it] has now gone to catchphrases — what is catching their attention either in a picture or the first three words and they don’t care about job title anymore. So it’s a marketing creativity session to see what we can put out there that will grab [their attention and draw] them to our website and get them to apply.

Want more health care insights? Put insight into action: Learn more about how you can find nurses right now to fill your open positions now.

Taking the Pulse of Your Talent Acquisition Strategy

May 6th, 2015 Comments off

National Nurses Week (May 6-12, 2015) was created as a way to thank nurses for the vital part they play in delivering the best care to their patients. “The 2015 National Nurses Week theme ‘Ethical Practice. Quality Care.’ recognizes the importance of ethics in nursing and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion and care nurses display in their practice and profession,” according to the American Nurses Association.

Employing the type of nurses who exemplify these values is a testament to an organization’s recruiting strategy – by hiring the best talent, and providing training opportunities to sharpen their skills, it creates a positive work environment, which ultimately leads to successful nurses.

Yet, we know it isn’t always so easy to recruit top talent. So we conducted a survey to hear what some of those challenges are – directly from you. Here are six survey findings that diagnose the pain points you feel when recruiting nurses – and some prescriptions for a better talent acquisition strategy.

No. 1: What do we need? Nurses! When do we need them? Now!

A whopping 81 percent of respondents say their organization currently has open nursing positions. Of those with open jobs, 23 percent have more than 20 openings.

No. 2: Put your boxing gloves on – it’s going to be another competitive year

When asked how they anticipate the number of nursing jobs in their organization will change in 2015 compared to 2014, more than half (53 percent) believe they’ll increase, while 46 percent say they’ll stay the same. With virtually no respondents anticipating a reduction in number of hires, the competition for talent won’t be easing up anytime soon.

No. 3: Registering the hardest-to-fill nursing positions

Fifty-one percent of respondents say it typically takes them four to six weeks to fill an open nursing position, with 23 percent lamenting it takes seven weeks-plus. The toughest position to fill? Registered nurses, with 46 percent struggling to find qualified candidates for this in-demand role.

No. 4: No quick apply? Candidates may be saying “goodbye”

Seventy-five percent of respondents say their organization doesn’t offer a “quick apply” – or shortened version of the application process – for nursing positions. In a separate CareerBuilder study, 3 in 5 job seekers who’ve begun an application say they didn’t finish it because there were too many steps or it was too complex. With the amount of open nursing positions needing to be filled, the odds of candidates expressing interest increase when they can quickly leave key information that determines if they qualify for the job prior to going through a lengthy application process.

No. 5: To make a long (application) story short…

According to the study, 11-15 minutes is the most common length of the application process for a nursing position, with 36 percent of respondents citing this time. However, 14 percent say it takes more than 30 minutes to complete a nursing application at their organization. To avoid frustrated candidates dropping off before they press “submit,” consider shortening the length of your application, and instead, saving some of the more in-depth questions for the interview.

No. 6: Not interested in recruiting new blood

Fifty-one percent of respondents say their organization does not actively recruit new/recent graduates for their open positions. When asked why not, 79 percent cite that recent grads lack the proper experience/skills needed. Forty-four percent say that, on average, just 5-24 percent of nursing new hires are recent grads. There’s a potentially huge, untapped market of candidates, who, with some on-the-job training, could be the answer to your organization’s talent shortage prayers.

The CareerBuilder Q1 Nursing Pulse Survey was conducted from March 4 – 15, 2015 among a sample of 156 employers of nurses or those responsible for their recruitment.  

For more health care insights and trends, check out the Spring 2015 CareerBuilder Health Care Insights Guide