Necessary Skills to be an Urgent Care Nurse - Blog Image

Urgent Care and ED Nursing – What It Takes

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

While it is true that everyone is not suited to a career in nursing, it is perhaps even more true that everyone is not suited to a career in urgent care or emergency department nursing. It is also true that the pandemic has exacerbated existing issues relating to retention and recruitment in a setting that is a critical component of the healthcare delivery system. Rising turnover rates combined with recruitment challenges have made it mission critical that every hire is the right one. So, how should healthcare organizations go about ensuring they are hiring nurses that will be a good fit while building retention in these settings?

In addition to the traditional emergency departments and urgent care centers, freestanding emergency departments are striving to meet consumer demand for services, creating an even larger demand for staff that can thrive in this challenging setting.

Recruitment – Asking the Right Questions, Identifying the Right Traits

Urgent care centers and emergency departments are unique within healthcare. They can be chaotic. Patients of every age and stage of life can find themselves in need of urgent or emergent care and they can present anywhere on the acuity spectrum from a bagel slicing accident to a patient near death from trauma.

Nurses considering this setting should ask themselves some questions to help determine whether or not they are a good fit, but healthcare organizations need to ask questions too.

  • Are their professional and clinical skills a good fit? There are many reasons that a nurse may or may not succeed in an emergency or urgent care setting, but there are great solutions to help nurses and organizations build confidence in their skills while building the competence that will ensure safe, high-quality care.
  • Are they able to remain calm and focused regardless of the chaos that is likely to be part of a shift in these settings? Managing multiple priorities, executing on physician orders, and working as part of a team to deliver care all in an environment that can be noisy and tense requires the ability to calmly focus on the needs of patients.
  • Can they successfully multi-task? Nurses in urgent care and emergency department settings will need to manage multiple priorities and move efficiently and effectively from one emergent patient to the next while still remaining calm and focused.
  • Can they work as part of a team? Nurses in this setting also need to work as part a team and be able to confidently communicate with other providers and disciplines to ensure the best care for their patients.
  • Will they embrace and reflect your organization’s vision and values? If providing patient and family-centered care in a culture that embraces health equity is important to your organization, it is important to select nurses that are able to reflect these values.
  • Are you measuring to understand and improve performance on retention and engagement metrics? Understanding the key drivers of retention and engagement means that you can build the kind of strategic plan that will create a working environment that is attractive to nurses that can thrive in this setting.

Retention – Solutions to Help Retain Staff in a Competitive Environment

Hiring is expensive and time consuming and low retention rates can have serious implications for safe, high-quality patient care. How can healthcare organizations be sure that the nurse that they hire today will still be a part of the team in the future?  HealthStream has clinical development solutions that can help support nurses, improve competency and quality while building retention.

Onboarding with Jane® provides rapid and efficient onboarding for staff by creating an individualized education plan for each nurse based on a reliable assessment and the use of artificial intelligence. Jane can help ensure that your staff meets or exceeds expectations for competency with a more focused approach to learning, saving time for the organization and nurses.

In addition, EBSCO’s Dynamic Health can quickly deliver accurate, reliable clinical information to nurses right where they need it – at the bedside, thereby reducing dependence on less-reliable sources such as Google and YouTube. Even in the chaotic environment of an emergency department, nurses can feel confident and supported with content that is trusted and safe.

HealthStream’s solutions can help you to effectively and efficiently provide clinical development, credentialing, and specialty-focused content to help nursing staff thrive in your emergency department or urgent care center.

Request Demo