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How to Hire a Nurse


Elizabeth Archer

Does your facility need to hire a nurse? Most often, nursing directors, administrative or staffing personnel will be tasked with the hiring of nurse staff. Below you’ll find a guide and tips for hiring nurses of all types, including: registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse case managers, ICU nurse, OR nurses, travel nurses, home care nurses, ER nurses, surgical nurse, labor and delivery nurses, and more.

How to hire a nurse

When looking for nurse staff, you’ll need a specific set of skills. You’ll want to find candidates that are knowledgeable, have the right credentials, and are quick-thinking problem solvers. Let’s start with the process of hiring a nurse (this applies to all types). You’ll want to maintain a consistent hiring structure and focus on speed to hire.

 

  1. Write your nurse job description. We recommend using a nurse job description template like the one we linked that you can easily edit and update based on nurse specialty and role.
  2. Interview prep. Prepare yourself and any other facility staff that will be interviewing the nurse candidates. We suggest having a pre-set list of interview questions that you can use and provide to other staff.
  3. Post your nurse job. Know the different nurse job posting resources that are available. If you’re hiring per diem or weekly assignment nurses, you’ll want to use Medely to quickly hire for that role (it’s like Uber but for healthcare staff). There are also several job boards available that are effective for hiring nurses including Monster, Indeed, Nurse Jobs, and more.
  4. Schedule nurse interviews. As soon as you post your job, you’ll want to quickly manage and schedule all applicants. Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to hiring a nurse.
  5. Interview nurse candidates. Remember to use your pre-set made of interview questions so that you can standardize the interview. We recommend also using an interview scorecard to determine which nurses best meet your requirements.
  6. Licensure verification and background checks. As you finish interviewing candidates, you’ll want to check they have adequate credentials, and conduct any background or reference checks. We think it’s best to do this prior to making a hire.
  7. Offer and onboarding. After you’ve made your decision, you’ll want to extend a formal offer to the new nurse. Make sure to provide all of the relevant new hire paperwork, and give them their start day and time.

Wondering what you should be paying your new nurses? Here is a list of nurse salary information.

Interviewing Nurse Staff

Whether you’re looking for an RN or an Oncology nurse, you’ll want to have a pre-set list of interview questions. We recommend focusing on behavioral based interview questions. These are questions that ask nurses about past work experience, how they reacted, and what they would differently. Behavioral-based interview questions provide

  • Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
  • Discuss a time when you didn’t know the answer to something at work? How did you go about finding the information?
  • Give me an example of an awkward situation at work. How did you remove yourself from the situation?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work. How did you deal with this situation?
  • Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems with a patient and initiated preventative measures.
  • Talk about a time you worked in a fast-paced setting. How did you prioritize tasks while maintaining excellent patient care?
  • Describe your experience with a very ill patient who required a lot of your time. How did you manage this patient’s care while ensuring your other patients were adequately cared for?
  • Talk about a time when you felt overwhelmed with your work or patient load. What did you do? 

Best way to recruit nurses

Some types of nurses will be harder to recruit than others. Here are a few strategies we recommend for recruiting nurses.

  1. Post on nurse job boards. This is the easiest way to look for nurse staff and also very effective. Keep in mind that these nurses that apply for your jobs are also applying for several others, so there will be increased competition.
  2. Provide careers classes for students. Offering seminars and classes for nurses is a great way to meet and get introduced into active talent. During the class, you can incorporate that your team is currently hiring and even talk to them in person about opportunities.
  3. Use apps like Medely. Medely is an automated nurse hiring app for per diem and weekly assignments. It’s as simple as loading up your job and clicking here. Instantaneous nurse staffing.
  4. Go to job fairs. Job fairs may sound like an outdated form of nurse recruiting, but go to local schools and programs in your area to meet some newly minted nurses ready to be hired.
  5. Add additional employee perks/benefits. Perks like free snacks and drinks, dinner for late shifts, etc can go a long way to recruiting in-demand nurses.
  6. Referral bonuses. Offering your current team bonuses for referring a hire is a great way to get them active in your hiring process, as well as keeping them engaged at work by bringing on colleagues that they know and respect.

How to hire a nurse travel nurses and nurses for a day

Hiring per diem or travel nurses for weekly assignments has often been contingent on the use of staffing agencies or internal referrals/network. Luckily, time’s have changed and we’re past the point of using “post and pray” technology like nurse job boards that typically have longer hiring times.

 

Thanks to apps like Uber, companies like Medely have become prominent leaders in per diem and short-term nurse staffing that happens instantaneously.

 

Here’s how to start hiring with Medely:

  1. Sign Up For Free
  2. Download the App
  3. Post your Job

If you want to start using Medely to make hires in minutes, then click here.

Final thoughts: How to hire a nurse

If you’re currently in the process of hiring a nurse, use the above tips and resources to quickly make the best hires. We’ve found that the more structure you have in your hiring process the easier and faster it is to make the right hires.

Don’t forget to sign up for Medely (it’s free to sign up!) to post your per diem and short-term nurse jobs for free.

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