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How To Retain International Nurses At Your Facility

In our previous blog, we explored how to effectively integrate international nurses into your US facility through a process of selecting the right staffing partner and building robust interview and onboarding processes. 

Once you have sourced the right international nursing talent, how can you ensure they remain at your facility in the long-term? Staff retention remains a challenge in both acute and long-term care facilities, mainly due to time and resource constraints, which can limit learning and development opportunities. In turn, a lack of career support for nurses can result in job dissatisfaction, reduced confidence, and can, in the worse cases, affect levels of patient care. 

Retention can become even more challenging when you introduce international nurses to your team. Foreign nurses not only have to acclimate to a new role but also, to a new country. Here, we look at some of the ways you can support nurses and how the right staffing partner can help throughout the process. 

Flexibility 

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for all nurses, but especially for those experiencing such a life-changing event as moving to a new country. While a reputable staffing partner will help nurses source the right accommodation, transport, and schools for their children before they start their first shift with you, there is still a lot to do and explore. Whether you offer nurses the option to choose their shifts, the number of hours worked, or provide an opportunity for overtime, you will help them to feel more in control of their time both in and out of work. 

Career Development 

If you want nurses to remain working at your facility, you need to make it clear that they are part of your core staffing plan. Finding out your nurses’ educational and career goals from day one, and working closely with them to ensure they achieve these will not only deliver greater job satisfaction but will also develop your future senior staff. 

Of course, not every facility has the time or resources to deliver comprehensive education, training, and development programs, which is why selecting the right staffing partner is crucial. Ensure they remain committed to supporting nurses throughout their assignment (rather than just at the beginning) and find out what education and training support they will deliver. It’s also critical that the staffing partner is closely aligned to your facility to ensure all programs are in line with your culture, values, and long-term staffing needs. 

Keep Listening

A nurse must feel valued in their role. Allowing every nurse to voice their concerns and share ideas with supervisors, unit managers, and administration reinforces the value of their opinions and input. 

Staffing partners will always be on-hand to offer guidance and support, but it’s also imperative that they can discuss issues inside the workplace and feel like they are being taken seriously. And, if such situations arise, make sure you communicate the outcome of a particular matter with the nurse who raised it. Remember, this is potentially valuable feedback that will help you improve standards in your facility. 

Appoint Brand Champions 

You can empower your nurses by asking for their input on hiring new colleagues. Including your international nurses in the interview and onboarding processes encourages them to reflect on your facility’s values and question whether a new person fits with them. This can be a highly effective way to reinforce a nurse’s responsibility for maintaining the team culture. Additionally, some facilities appoint more experienced nurses as mentors for juniors to accelerate knowledge transfer and help build management skills. 

There are, of course, time constraints placed on busy nurses, so consider offering incentives as a way of demonstrating how much you value their input. 

Looking To Find Out More? 

If you have questions or concerns about hiring and retaining international nurses 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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