How to Recruit and Retain Millennials In Nursing


The nursing shortage is a frequently talked about subject in the healthcare industry, so it’s no surprise that many assume that the millennial generation could be the answer. Perhaps they could. As it stands, young adults who are part of the millennial generation are nearly twice as likely as baby boomers were to choose the nursing profession, according to a recent study. This curious bunch, known as the “why” generation, are actually leading the way when it comes to combatting the nursing shortage. Millennials in nursing are becoming quite common, so it’s important to take a look at this generation of nurses. In coming years, the nursing profession will rely heavily on millennials to make up for retiring baby boomers. However, adding to staff numbers is not their most important legacy. Millennials demand work-life balance, and they get it. They question the status quo and then change it. They expect to enjoy their work and will not settle. So how do you recruit and retain this valuable generation of workers?

Recruiting Millenials In Nursing

Healthcare facilities struggle with figuring out how to recruit millennials. Unlike any other generation, millennials are much more different and require a little creativity when it comes to recruiting them. A 2016 Deloitte Millennial survey found that Millennials’ want to work for a company that:

  • Puts employees first (after the patients, of course)
  • Creates a solid foundation of trust and integrity
  • Offers excellence in customer care
  • Provides high-quality, reliable services
  • Actively takes social responsibility

Remember to keep these factors in mind, and check out some of the tips below for how to recruit millennial nurses.

Seek Input

Remember, you’re talking to generation “why.” While millennials will surely ask questions, they also might give his or her own input when it comes to certain matters. If you can respect their opinion, this will show potential employees that you’re willing to hear what they have to say.

Provide Mentorship

Constructive management should be employed instead of punitive or even performance-mandated supervision. Millennial nurses might be much more sensitive to perceived criticism or negative feedback. Coaching and coachable conversations may be a much more successful tactic.

Be Flexible

It’s often said that flexibility is a must in managing Millennials. However, flexibility is actually a benefit in managing anybody. Nurses of any age would appreciate a work-life balance. Employers should recognize the preferences of each generation and each individual in the workplace. People like it when their personal lifestyle needs are respected. While it doesn’t make sense to allow them to walk all over you, you still want to be understanding and accommodating when dealing with millennials in nursing.

millennials in nursing

Managing Millennials In Nursing

Focus On the Strengths of Millennials

Instead of trying to be resistant, or trying to mold millennials into the traditional healthcare worker, focus on his or her strengths. For example, millennials tend to be overly social and rely on peer-to-peer interaction and learning. This, in turn, actually makes them exceptional collaborators. And their constant questioning? Because of it, they’re likely to improve processes and approach tasks in innovative ways. This should also help with patient interaction. A friendly demeanor and proper bedside manner can go a long way in the healthcare industry.

Create Mentoring Opportunities

Create solid mentoring opportunities within your staff. Make sure the other generations in your workforce see their millennial peers as valued co-workers with a lot to add. These mentorship opportunities are a great way to bring together your new millennials in nursing as well as the seasoned veterans.

If you’re looking to embark on a brand new nursing job, don’t forget to check out all the great travel nurse assignments we have to offer.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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