The nursing shortage resurfaced in the news early this summer. Across the country, more hospitals and facilities are searching for ways to meet increased demand for healthcare services. Paired with reduced chances of repealing the Affordable Care Act, healthcare needs are only expected to climb. However, per diem, contract and travel nursing assignments are filling the gaps of the increased demand. These types of nurses bring both experience and reprieve to facilities stretched to the break point. However, landing a contract may not be as easy as it seems, but nurses can use these tactics to boost their appeal.
1. Be Polite, Courteous and Professional.
Impressing temporary employers, including human resources’ professionals, is key to getting a nursing contract. Nurses should exhibit an unparalleled level of professionals in every interaction. This includes being polite and courteous to facility employees, people being cared for and supervisors. More importantly, nurses need to leave external stress and factors at the door. In other words, they should not discuss personal issues while working and focus solely on the tasks at hand.
2. Go the Extra Mile to Meet Administrators and Nurse Managers.
Nurses working evening and night shifts may rarely see administrators or nurse managers while on assignment. While working these shifts is essential, contract nurses should take a few extra measures to meet administrators and make themselves known. This includes offering to visit the facility during daytime hours to discuss assignments. Of course, it is important to avoid overstepping boundaries an agency may have established with respect to scheduling and contract opportunities.
3. Be Flexible, and Offer to Stay Late or Come in Early.
Contract opportunities exist because a facility is unable to meet its nurse staffing needs. In fact, Becker’s Hospital Review found 54 percent of nurses in the U.S. may work between one and five hours of overtime per week. Moreover, 15 percent of nurses report working more than 11 hours per week. These statistics also remain steady when comparing RN versus LPN overtime facts.
Nurses seeking contract opportunities can use this information to promote themselves for contract placement, but they need to make their opinions and flexibility known by offering to stay late or come in early to meet census demands. In addition, contract nurses should have broad flexibility regarding what days and shifts they are willing to work.
4. Set Clear Expectations With Patients and Coworkers.
A common complaint by patients revolves around sub-par communication. Nurses should explain what they are doing to persons served, when they return and what to expect throughout the shift. Increased, specific communication skills should also be a cornerstone of all interactions between contract nurses and facility employees. As a result, everyone will know what to expect and have fewer complaints. Therefore, the chances of receiving praise and recommendations for additional contracts and other opportunities will increase.
5. Be Assertive.
Assertive does not mean being aggressive or overbearing. Instead, contract nurses should make their opinions and voices heard among facility staff members. They should ask about shift needs, future openings in the schedule and additional opportunities. In addition, discuss your interest in future opportunities, likes and dislikes with your agency representative. This will ensure everyone knows about a nurse’s willingness and interest in contract placements.
Work With APN Healthcare Solutions for Contract Opportunities
While applying these tips is great, nurses should also consider how working with an accredited, experienced healthcare staffing agency can increase contract opportunities. In fact, APN Healthcare Solutions is committed to finding and supporting nurses searching for per diem, contract as well as permanent opportunities. To get started, upload your resume to APN Healthcare Solutions online, or start browsing for jobs today.