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The Balancing Act of Clinician Supply and Demand

 |  By Jennifer Thew RN  
   December 01, 2017

This familiarity occurs in a few ways. Fairview has a formal summer nurse internship program for all newly hired nurses, in which nurses earn both academic credit and pay. Those students are also given conditional job offers a year in advance.

"That last year they're in school, we continue to place them in their clinical experience, and a high percent of those people are placed on the unit they're eventually going to work on," Beeth says.

All told, 46% of the students are hired in the same unit in which they interned.

The organization also tries to place students completing their capstones in an area of interest.

"Those are all deliberate attempts to place them here, and actually do it in a way that makes sense," Beeth says. "What we're seeing is a 50% decrease in cost for onboarding when those students are hired."

Once they begin working as fully licensed RNs, new nurses with under two years of experience are automatically enrolled in Fairview's nursing residency program.

Beyond nurses, Fairview collects its own data on 38 different healthcare job classes and compares it to other health systems in the state.

"We can see risks, we can see retention, we can see age bands, all those kinds of things," Beeth says.

In collaboration with her HR strategy leader, Beeth is also gathering information on how much is spent on contingent workforce, succession information, internal turnover, or days to fill a vacancy to better help other leaders understand what the workforce and its issues look like at Fairview.

"It is something that we talk about at our regular senior operations team meetings," says Jacobson.

The group discusses how many roles are open, what the organization is doing to make sure those openings are filled, how to best recruit candidates, and what is the mixture of experienced staff versus new staff.

"The balance of making sure we do have the appropriate workforce, both in the future as well as on the ground, and that we're keeping our retention high and our voluntary turnover low, is really what we're trying to work through across the whole system," she says. "This is the nuts and bolts of what our operations are dealing with, and in order to be a great HR partner, we need to make sure we're providing the right people, data, information, programs, and processes so our leaders can do their jobs."

Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.

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