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How To Effectively Integrate International Nurses In Your Facility

According to Harvard, there are 3 million immigrants already in the US healthcare system, accounting for 1 in 4 workers in that field. This is, in part, due to US healthcare facilities going global in a quest to secure the right nursing talent to plug staffing gaps, reduce costs, and improve levels of patient care. 

Whether foreign nurses are used to bolster a current workforce, or as part of a blended approach, alongside travel and per diem nurses, the right planning is essential to ensure successful integration with your existing team and patients. The question is, how do you do this? 

1. Select The Right Staffing Partner 

There are many international nurse staffing agencies to choose from, so you must find the right one to suit your needs. As foreign nurses are employees of the agency, they should receive a certain level of support throughout their assignment at your facility. Be wary of staffing agencies that don’t remain hands-on with their nurses as all support, education, and development needs will fall to you, which is not only unfair but could be impossible if your facility is already stretched. 

2. Assess Your Interview Process 

Even when working with a staffing agency, you still need to interview international nurses before they join you. While this gives you an insight into whether they’ll be the right fit, it’s also their opportunity to decide whether they want to work with you. Remember that word-of-mouth, even about the interview process, can help to increase the number of candidates who want to work with you, as well as boost online reviews, and, ultimately, retention levels. 

It’s, therefore, crucial to review your interview process to make sure you’re providing the right information, communicating all of your benefits, and allowing nurses to ask any questions they might have. 

3. Keep Communicating 

All too often, employers can lose great candidates due to a lack of communication, which can negatively affect time-to-hire, the timing of orientation, and the candidate’s perception of your organization. 

One of your main goals should be to make the hiring process seamless and fully transparent for the candidate. There should be immediate and ongoing communication between HR, hiring manager, staffing agency, and candidate, with clear touch points throughout the journey. 

4. Tailor Your Orientation/Onboarding Process 

International nurses require a different approach when it comes to integration into your team. While they may have the same anxieties about starting a new role as US nurses, moving to a new country can compound these fears and require more hands-on support. Traditional concerns include: 

  • Not knowing where to go 

  • What’s expected of them 

  • Who their preceptor will be 

  • What to wear 

  • Navigating company culture 

Your onboarding process should proactively address such concerns, and offer the support to help them succeed in their role. 

Remember, a specialist staffing partner, like Conexus, will help you build and deliver an effective onboarding process, bridging gaps, and providing additional support and guidance before and during a nurse’s assignment with you.

What’s The Right Option? 

If you have questions or concerns about hiring international nurses for your facility or want to find out more about implementing a blended staffing approach, download our free guide - ‘Alternatives to the traditional 13-week assignment' today. Alternatively, connect with your local Conexus team today to find out more about how we can support your staffing needs. 

Find out more about international nurses and other staffing alternatives in our free guide - 'Alternatives to the traditional 13-week assignment'.

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