Melissa Fischer, CEO of NurseRegistry, based in Palo Alto, CA, was recently a guest on the RecruitingDaily Podcast with William Tincup. In this interview, she discusses nurse staffing retention best practices, career opportunities for nurses and the key to keeping nurses engaged.
According to Fischer, the company’s ethos tends to revolve around a combination of what their nurses need and what their clients are looking for, and connecting these parties helps ensure everyone is satisfied. Fischer herself has a background in nursing, and she uses this insight on a regular basis.
The interview begins with William Tincup asking what the current market looks like for nurses. His expectations prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, he says, were that the industry was approaching a state where there would not be enough nurses to fill every available position. In response, Fischer agrees with this assessment and confirms that the industry is undergoing what she calls a ‘continual nursing shortage,’ with the worst affected sectors being long-term care, skilled nursing facilities and so on.
This shortage, the two note, is exacerbated by the fact that it is impossible to ramp up the introduction of new nurses as quickly as they are needed, given that training and certification is a multi-year process that requires a great deal of dedication and sacrifice on the part of the individual. The shortage is always present, as a result, with the only difference being how severely it is felt in each respective sector.
There are a few ways to measure nurse satisfaction, and Fischer says it is a good idea to talk directly with the workforce to keep up to date with their needs. In addition to helping them feel heard, this gives the companies in question more information to work with regarding their team’s future. Fischer says surveys (both internal and external) are a great way to get a lot of good information quickly, for instance, and she is proud of NurseRegistry’s ability to track and respond to concerns among their nurses.
"We won Clearly Rated’s Best in Staffing Talent Award for the last three years,” she points out. “So I like to think that we do that piece and we do it well. It’s any of the basic human decency things that anyone wants, right? To be heard, to be valued, to be appreciated, giving them time to vent about a situation that they need to talk about — because a lot of our nurses work independently.” In fact, there are numerous working opportunities for nurses beyond hospitals.
A few distinct factors are consistently in focus among nurses, Fischer adds. To begin with, conversations around an individual’s future in nursing (within specific positions or the industry as a whole) often have a great deal to do with their remuneration. Most wish, to this day, to be paid in line with the value they bring to their employer, and this may be the more obvious concern that people outside the industry can empathize with. However, it is by no means the only factor that needs to be accommodated appropriately.
The pandemic served to place a great weight on the shoulders of healthcare workers, and this was no less evident among nurses. Fischer says a nurse’s mental health and sense of self-worth may now weigh strongly in their decision to remain in a specific role. Further, the extreme situations present during the pandemic brought this consideration to a point where nurses began considering whether their career was sustainable, and they now may choose to leave the industry altogether if they cannot find a suitable compromise.
She says many organizations and groups are attempting to instill a greater degree of flexibility in order to alleviate the demands a nurse has to deal with. Allowing nurses to move between roles or schedules (where possible), she says, may help with burnout, stress, and a variety of symptoms that could lead to people concluding that they have no future in the industry,
Fischer comments, "We try to find paths for wherever anyone is at but that’s just it — you meet them where they’re at, you listen to their frustrations and you try to address them. If they’re, you know, their issue is, I’m, you know, just so tired of being at the hospital. Well, you know what? Perfect because that’s not our wheelhouse at all. Let me tell you all the non-hospital opportunities we have, or, again, I’m just being pushed so hard, I just want to let off the gas a little bit. Okay, fantastic. Have you considered private duty? Have you considered, again, school nursing, alcohol and drug recovery? You know, there’s a lot of positions that you can land in as a nurse.”
The full conversation between William Tincup and Melissa Fischer is available online. Those interested may listen to the interview on NurseRegistry’s blog space. Further inquiries may be directed to the company via phone or email.
For more information about NurseRegistry - Palo Alto, contact the company here:
NurseRegistry - Palo Alto
125 University Ave Suite 260, Palo Alto, CA 94301