Innovative approach helps grow nursing workforce
In the current climate it is estimated that the NHS needs to fill around 40,000 nurse positions across the UK, and with an 8.3 percent rise in the number of nursing vacancies in the last year, the competition to recruit has never been so fierce.
Finding a solution to the ever increasing recruitment problem is no easy task, but over the past three years the Chief Nurse team at the Trust has been working tirelessly to buck the trend. Closely monitoring the nurse staffing position on a weekly basis, the team continue to look at new ways to both recruit and retain nurses and healthcare assistants across the Trust.
Becky Hoskins, Assistant Director of Nursing Workforce, explained: “We’ve given a lot of thought to every aspect of the job and as a result developed new roles and ways of working. Making sure that our newly qualified nurses feel supported, being flexible with shift patterns, and creating opportunities for nurses and healthcare assistants to broaden their knowledge and skills are all some of the things we have introduced.”
Over the last eighteen months 47 staff have been recruited to a new role of associate practitioner with another 12 due to start in April. Associate practitioners work with nurses in York and Scarborough hospitals and gain extra skills to work alongside nurses to ensure that patients are getting the best care. The role provides a valuable addition to nursing teams while offering real career advancement opportunities.
The Trust was also successful in becoming a pilot for the introduction of trainee nursing associates during 2017 supporting them through a two year academic and clinical programme. They work within both acute and community settings to achieve a nursing associate qualification.
Becky added: “We have strengthened the Trust’s commitment to delivering an innovative nursing workforce across our organisation. The support from our clinical teams across the Trust has been instrumental in our achievements so far, and I look forward to continuing to build the workforce fit for now and for the future.”
Looking to the future the Chief Nurse team has been out and about at universities and schools promoting both the Trust as a great place to work, and encouraging young students who are considering their career choices about the opportunities within the NHS.
The team has played a key role in organising the successful recruitment market place events which have boosted recruitment for hard to fill positions in not only nursing, but other functions such as portering.
“We have strengthened the Trust’s commitment to delivering an innovative nursing workforce across our organisation. The support from our clinical teams across the Trust has been instrumental in our achievements so far, and I look forward to continuing to build the workforce fit for now and for the future.”
What have we done?
- Streamlined the recruitment process for nurses - the number of newly registered nurses recruited into the Trust has increased
- New preceptorship programme to ensure that newly registered nurses working both within the hospital and in community services are supported
- Providing a ‘transfer window’ to enable nurses and healthcare assistants to request moves into new teams to broaden their knowledge and skills - 33 applications received this year
- Nurse bank workers fast tracked into permanent jobs within the Trust - 12 applications received in January 2018 alone
- Associate practitioner roles created - 59 new staff by April 2018
- Healthcare assistant open days encourages well informed candidates and improves staff retention
- Recruitment market place provides information and recruits to hard to fill positions