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Too Many Nursing Shift Vacancies? Here’s How to Fix It Quickly

Posted 3 months ago

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​Just received yet another sick call for the upcoming shift that will worsen your staffing deficit? Contacting Network Nursing Agency (NNA) is a quick way of addressing this conundrum. Their agency nurses are adaptable and reliable, whilst being constantly encouraged to upskill, ensuring their practice is relevant and up-to-date. Though you have other options to fill a staff vacancy, choosing NNA is a quick way to obtain exceptional help without the headache or the paperwork.

Casual Pool vs Agency Nursing

When faced with a nursing vacancy, do you instinctively call nursing pool or do you ring a nursing agency like NNA? As an assistant nurse unit manager (ANUM) or roster manager, sometimes the answer is taken out of your hands either due to staffing availability or due to a contingency plan already set in place by the nurse unit manager (NUM), executive team or the board. But if you are free to organise the upcoming shift roster as you please, where do you typically start?

Though staff in the casual pool may have computer log in details which can save time and may be familiar with the existing environment and staff, choosing NNA to fill your vacancy comes with it’s own advantages too which shouldn’t be understated. Here are a few points to consider regarding NNA agency staff;

  • Limited paperwork as NNA handles the onboarding process associated with new staff, in conjunction with making sure they have passed the relevant competencies to perform their role.

  • Agency nurses are adaptable and are accustomed to change

  • No need to provide supernumerary time

  • A reliable, respectful workforce as they are representing an agency that financially and emotionally supports them

  • Staff can hold highly regarded qualifications such as postgraduate and masters degrees, that can significantly assist in day-today-day patient management.

Avoiding Nurse Burnout

How many times have you asked a member of your staff to complete overtime or come in for an extra shift when that particular member of staff is already working full time hours? That has been me when desperate! But do you really stop to think about how these extra hours impacts someone’s health and welfare? Will this extra shift push them over the edge physically and mentally?

Often nurses have poor insight into their own health, constantly pushing themselves, burning the candle at both ends. Nurses are typically kind natured and may feel pressure to say yes when you ask them to help out. Though we are all adults, it’s up to the ANUMs and NUMs to promote a positive work life balance and this means to not overstretch your workforce. So what can you do to avoid burning out the hardworking team? Allow agency staff to fill your shifts where possible. Though agencies like NNA will not be able to fill every shift, it’s certainly worth a try to ease the stress and tension building up in your nurses who may be overdoing it.

In summary, when next faced with a nursing vacancy consider filling it with an agency staff member. They have not only completed mandatory competencies like hand hygiene and fire training but some have also successfully completed post-graduate studies making them extremely knowledgeable. This is a talented, respectful and adaptive workforce ready to work. Now no doubt your permanent staff are super nurses and the casual workforce is receptive and competent, they are going to get tired. Let agency nurses ease that load for a moment!

Emma Smith

Registered Nurse