What to Know About Finding and Contacting Nurses

Nov 14, 2014

nurseNurses are a refined set of dames, although nowadays males make up around 10 percent of the nursing workforce in the UK and the U.S.. There are studies that show males make more than females in nursing (about $10,000 more) but when phone sourcing I still find older females in senior nursing positions, however.

Not many picture Walt Whitman as a nurse, but the American poet, essayist, and journalist volunteered as one during the American Civil War. And making news today, William Pooley the British nurse who contracted Ebola while volunteering in West Africa, has returned to Sierra Leone to resume his work.

Increasingly today, doctors and nurses view each other as peers and with their own unique experiences that nurses bring to the field nursing is a great profession for both women and men with widening opportunities.

I’m going to give you some tips for contacting nurses, whether by phone or by email. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2012-2022 released in December 2013, registered nursing is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2022. The registered workforce is expected to grow from 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022, an increase of 526,800 or 19 percent. The BLS also projects the need for 525,000 replacements nurses in the workforce bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.05 million by 2022.

According to the “United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast” published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030. In this state-by-state analysis, the authors forecast the shortage to be most intense in the South and the West.

Nurses are not constrained by the 9-to-5-work shift that others must accept. This freedom opens up your opportunities in recruiting them as well. If you have a work schedule that demands those hours be allocated to some other activity, nurse recruiting may be for you!

A registered nurse may be employed in a variety of medical settings, including physicians’ offices, schools, hospitals, prison settings, and assisted living facilities/nursing homes.

Nurses work 24 hours in hospital settings and many times in 12-hour shifts on a “work three, off two, work two, off three” day schedule. It’s not unheard of to run into a “work 16 hour (double shifts) 2-3 day, off five day” schedule, and there are many variations in between and on either side of those coins.

Despite regulations on shift length and cumulative working hours for resident physicians and workers in other industries, there are no national work-hour policies for registered nurses.

There is recent data showing that the percentages of nurses reporting burnout and an intention to leave the job increased incrementally as shift length increased. But these studies are complicated. If you’re going to use them to choose your sourcing targets I would read them.

The national average pay is $57,000 (according to PayScale) for a registered nurse with a range of Total Pay $42,343 – $81,768 and a job satisfaction of “extremely satisfied.” Several large nurse employers are listed as salary sources.

With the new healthcare laws, careers as an registered nurse are in high demand as access to medical care increases.

Calls, Social Media, and Referrals

Nurses aren’t always hanging out on LinkedIn.

Oh, sure, there are some listed, but less and less nowadays as the social media sites lose their luster. People are back to work so the best place to find them is at their places of work. It’s a task that is as simple as calling into where they work and asking:

Can you tell me, please, who is the Nurse Manager on your floor? Oh? Is she the only one or is there another one scheduled on the next shift?

Where else would you find them? You might find a couple on LinkedIn but chances are they may no longer be affiliated with the hospital they listed when they signed up when LinkedIn was “shiny and new.”

How about a state licensing association? That’s a good call, but it isn’t going to give you where they’re working (or if they’re working — some aren’t!). It’ll give you name, license number, and type, what state the person is licensed in, and if there have been any disciplinary actions.

If you “download with documents” at that site it’ll tell you when the license expires, when the license was granted, and if the license is active.  No address, no phone number, no work information.

To find someone working today the best way is to pick a slate of organizations close to your own and then call into each one and find out who’s working there. A lot of the background work on the person will have been done for you if you have faith in the organization that’s employing them now.

You might think another place to look is to ask nurses to refer other nurses.

Yes and no.

That works if you know a nurse well and she trusts you. Nurses are circumspect people — they’re used to hearing and keeping secrets and they’re not the types to “pass along” the name, numbers and serial information of their friends lightly.

No matter if it’s their first day of work, last day of work, or any day in between.

Nurses are classy dames.

I know you’re thinking, “Well, doesn’t that fly in the face of what you’re asking us to do above?”  

Not really. Nurses are also helpful. Most of them will answer a question like that one above (when posed correctly) without giving it much of a second thought.

They’re also very busy. Being respectful of their time is part of gathering information from them.

Your mission is not to call them, frisk them for information, and then try to recruit them all on the same call.

Build your roster and then a week or so later call them and recruit them individually. As you build your roster keep track of what shift they’re working. It’s not a bad idea to try to get a direct dial or extension number when you’re doing your sourcing calls so you can more easily contact them on your recruiting calls.

Most healthcare professionals have emails at their workplaces. Once you know the email format the organization uses and the correct spelling of the person’s name, it’s not too hard to figure out their email (in the event someone won’t tell you; usually someone will.)

However — be careful of this. Nurses are extremely conscientious, and receiving emails at work touting another job at another organization are likely to go over like leaded balloons. Be careful what you say and how you say it in your written correspondence. Limit your subject lines to a half dozen words or less so the messages are received (and understood) on their mobile appliances. Most nurses are carrying phones these days and many of these are plugged into their organization’s communication systems.

They Want to Hear From You, When They Can

Nurses come in all shapes, sizes and personality types. This fun infographic on four basic personality types from a seasoned registered nurse may amuse you. No matter what personality type you get on the phone, I find most of them are interested in hearing what you have to say.

I find that what works best is a first contact phone call during the day to them at their place of work, a) at a time of day on their shift when they’re not likely to be in a stressed situation, b) that is respectful of their time and place, and c) asks for a conversation at a time that “may be more convenient” works best with these classy dames.

And those classy guys.

Tell us what works for you.

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