The ability to effectively hire, select, schedule, train, and evaluate other nurses
What is it?
Staffing is, in essence, effective human resource management. It includes evaluating staffing patterns, understanding employee needs, and matching staff competency with patient condition.
Why is it important?
Given the special nature of the nursing profession, proper staffing is essential. Hiring competent nurses and training them properly helps ensure both that the nurses possess necessary skills as well as that the patients receive proper treatment. Evaluating the needs of each individual department, clinic, or hospital, is also critical in assuring that the right people are distributed to fitting positions and serving patients accordingly in the most optimal way.
- Provide a Great Work Environment for Current Employees
First, attend to the needs and desires of current employees. It can be challenging to find enough nursing staff – both numerically as well as with sufficient professional skills. If you want to attract the best, you need to support your current employees so that they will share their positive experiences as an employee with others. Word of mouth is still an excellent recruiting tool.
- Hire Enough Full-Time and Competent Staff
Second, keep track of the numbers. Having enough qualified, available staff helps ensure that you are never short-staffed and putting a strain on your employees. Part-time employees can also have more limited schedules, fewer professional skills and, if they have other full-time jobs, a tendency to prioritize that over their hours with you. Finally, make sure to hire competent staff for these positions, or provide sufficient training for those who are capable or proficient enough.
- Track the Scheduling of Nurses and the Satisfaction of Patients
Finally, keep a detailed log of nurse schedules and patient satisfaction. Understaffing or overstaffing will happen. Be sure you note what shifts and what days of the week these instances occur. Data can hold valuable information and show patterns that inform us of areas for improvement. Tracking patient satisfaction and results helps to make sure that those who are assigned certain responsibilities are doing their jobs well enough to provide quality patient care.