How Hospitals Can Attract & Keep Millennials

March 09, 2016

Perhaps the best way to understand millennial nurses is to recognize that they are a diverse and large group. The nearly 90 million people in the US considered to be millennials (born between 1980 and the early 2000’s) are bound to have an impact on the American workplace, and the nursing profession specifically. They will be the majority in the workplace over the next 20 years.

Qualities of the Millennial Nurse (or Nursing Candidate)

A recent Hodes Healthcare study described millennials as optimistic individuals who celebrate uniqueness, are comfortable with diversity and seek work that fulfills them in some way.

Millennials also generally value teamwork and have a solid respect for authority, notes the study team. This group of people is accustomed to organizing and living their lives (as well as enhancing their productivity) with technology, and they value feedback — especially good feedback and encouragement — on their performance and ideas.

Put Millennial Values to Work

The healthcare profession has been slower to adopt time-saving, accuracy-building technologies and is only now prioritizing new tech and social/communication tools. Millennial nurses will certainly bring extra focus to tech tools, which will likely make nursing more effective with easier, more streamlined information sharing.

Feedback, which millennials crave, is often lacking on the fast-paced nursing floor, and nurses can be placed on a unit and feel unprepared.

The study, and many career nurses themselves, suggests adding structure to the new nurses’ entry into the profession; formal mentoring programs and residencies help to properly acclimate new or transferred nurses. As older nurses retire, we’ll be in need of well-prepared, highly trained nurses.

Here are just some of the incentives that Fastaff, and hospitals hiring our travel nurses, are introducing to attract and retain millennial nurses (and impressive nurses of all ages):

  1. More flexible and shorter assignments: Assignment length ranges from 4 weeks to a year or more (with periodic extensions). The 13-week assignment is no longer the only option.
  2. Competitive pay and perks: Fastaff offers the top hourly pay in the industry. With travel and housing covered by Fastaff, our nurses can take home more of their paycheck than ever before. Fastaff also offers nurses perks, and exclusive discounts.
  3. Continuing education opportunities: Nurses seeking additional specialty training in new areas are in luck. Many travel nurse assignments allow nurses to build on special interests in particular departments and to advance their medical education.
  4. Well-equipped lounge areas: The ideal workplace includes areas dedicated to relaxation, de-stressing, and eating comfortably. Because Fastaff partners with some of the most prestigious hospitals in the country, updated facilities are common on travel assignments.
  5. Community building: A sense of community among nurses strengthens the profession as a whole. Outings, and even regular staff meetings and brainstorming sessions, are being used more and more to develop team camaraderie and promote new ideas. One of Fastaff’s more important communities exists here online. We encourage you to contribute ideas, share your experience and take part in the discussions on our site.
  6. Leadership training for career development: Advanced career training builds self-esteem and team-building skills in a nurse, allowing him or her to make better decisions in daily work situations. Leadership development helps motivated nurses become more confident, and more effective nursing professionals.
  7. Travel: The foundation of travel nursing is built on enabling new experiences and engaging with new people in new places. Millennials (and any nurse who desires renewed energy, fresh perspectives, memorable experiences and exploration) will truly enjoy travel nursing. 

As Fastaff travel nurses, you have a unique opportunity to observe and share great ideas from town to town as you take new assignments.

What good workplace ideas have you observed lately that help make nursing better?