To become a nurse is to enter into an extremely demanding profession.
As it so happens, nurses are in higher demand than ever before. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a permanent 100,000-person vacancy within the U.S. healthcare system, and now, more than ever, we need registered nurses to provide care to vulnerable Americans.
Nursing requires great emotional and physical resilience, and a willingness to risk one’s own health for the benefit of others. It demands long hours, and oftentimes—more so than just about any other industry’s workers—nurses are exposed to violence on the job, with 75% of nearly 25,000 workplace assaults occurring in healthcare environments each year. All of these factors contribute to large turnover in the field.
In March 2016, a Streamline Verify survey found that 43% of newly licensed hospital-based nurses leave their jobs within the first three years of employment. When turnover is high and short-staffing becomes the norm, the hardships of nursing are intensified for those who choose to remain in the profession, making an already challenging job more difficult. In turn, this attrition creates a lower retention rate that leads to greater attrition, resulting in an endless cycle of short-staffing, and potentially driving potential future nurses away from the field.
There are many obstacles hospitals face when trying to hire new nurses. For one, there is a low supply of graduating nurses who aren’t seeking additional specialties. This makes nursing more of a stepping stone than an end-goal for a large number of these employees.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, newer, less experienced nurses were rarely assigned work in the ICU. But now, to address the shortage in nurses, internships, preceptorships, and residency programs have been brought in to work directly with critically ill COVID-19 patients.
This kind of pressure put on fresh-faced, young nurses—some of whom have graduated early just to help—won’t be without consequences. Burnout, especially among those who were already intending to switch from RN jobs to different careers, is highly likely.
Compared to on-the-job nursing shifts, the clinical hours of current nursing school programs are much less strenuous, which could lead to disillusionment among younger nurses just entering the profession. While millennials are the future of the workforce, very few of them are attracted to the grueling, 12+ hour shifts that can be expected in an occupation as a registered nurse. Pair this with the fact that many baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs are spread thin due to budget restraints, with insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, and clinical preceptors, and it becomes apparent that young people are inadvertently encouraged to seek careers outside of nursing even before they choose a major in college.
In 2016 alone, U.S. nursing schools turned away over 64,000 qualified applicants from their programs because of inadequate resources. With aging baby boomer nurses—who constitute one-third of the entire nurse population—beginning to retire in droves, nursing schools will be even more limited in what they can provide their students, resulting in a whole generation of nurses new to the field, lacking much needed guidance from older, more experienced veterans of the nursing world.
Hiring a full staff of nurses to ensure a standard of quality care is understandably a challenging task for many healthcare departments. With over two decades of international recruitment experience, our mission at Interstaff is to assist hospitals in the hiring process by sourcing accredited nurses and handling VISA sponsorships for healthcare professionals from abroad. We assist in acclimating nurses, as well as their family members, to the new places they find employment, and offer payroll benefits for three year contracts.
We do more than just save you money, time, and energy on staffing. We are committed to providing you with the best, most highly skilled nurses in the world, with various specialties. Primarily from the Philippines, Jamaica, Africa, and Puerto Rico, the nurses we recruit are fully committed to both long and short-term solutions for your department. Whatever help you may need, you can bet Interstaff is equipped to supply it.