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The Importance Of Specialized Recruiting in Healthcare Settings

Recruiting agencies that specialize in one or two practice areas, as opposed to general agencies, often provide fast results in locating candidates to fill management and executive positions. One industry where this level of recruiting is detrimental is healthcare. The continuing shortage of management and executive nursing staff is beginning to have dire consequences for resident and patient care and safety.

The DON Requirement

Many long-term care facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes are operating short-staffed and without proper nursing supervision. Nursing staff, such as RNs, LPNs, and CNAs, require the supervision of a Director of Nursing (DON). This position is filled by a professional with a Master's level education in nursing, is capable of completing initial patient assessments, works closely with physicians, and sets up treatment plans. The DON also supervises nurses, completes evaluations of their performances, and ensures the proper care of residents.

Failure to Comply

The lack of nursing supervision is a common reason for the determination of Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) during inspections. An IJ finding means the facility is non-compliant to the point of placing residents or patients in danger of harm, injury, impairment, or death. This has resulted in the closing of several facilities. There is a time frame established for making corrections. Failure to do so results in losing Medicaid and Medicare funding, which is the majority of funding for most facilities.

Proactive Actions

Administrators have a few avenues of proactive steps that will prevent an IJ determination. One is to place a priority on the health and safety of residents. Review regulations, document training, and make any repairs to essential systems. Hiring a specialized recruiting agency to keep key positions filled is one other way to be proactive, provide an excellent standard of care to patients, and avoid an IJ determination during future inspections.

Another is to encourage professionals to become members of the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination, or AANAC. This non-profit organization provides support and education in the changing regulations and new techniques that apply to long-term care facilities. Being proactive is more cost-effective than losing residents, qualified nurses, and a primary source of funding.
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