Write Nursing Job Descriptions That Will Attract the Right Talent

Job descriptions are not job ads. Ads can be funny and eye-catching, using words like “superstar” or “guru.” The goal of an ad is to attract talent, of course, and as such, should emphasize the best aspects of a job, including the culture or perks that help your organization stand out.

But a job description is different. You may use part of the job description in the ad you place, but it’s primarily a tool to help ensure the new employee understands the expectations for the work to come. Let’s look closely at some best practices for nursing job descriptions, and how they should be used to attract the best of the best.

Best Practices for Nursing Job Descriptions

The best advice is to write the job description from the perspective of the candidate. Avoid jargon and confusing descriptions of what the role entails. Lead with a Job Summary at the top of the description. For example:

  • Staff RN: Provides general nursing care and caring to families and patients in a variety of clinical settings in our busy community hospital. You will work directly with the patient care team to direct and provide daily activities. You must be highly organized and clearly demonstrate competency in patient care.

Next, list the duties of the position. Keep the sentences short and use bullets to break up the text. Each bullet should have a task described in one concise sentence. Here are some examples:

  • Create and implement patient care plans.
  • Provide clinically approved and appropriate patient care following standards of practice guidelines.
  • Collaborate closely with patient care teams.
  • Approve lab orders.
  • Assign beds during a shift.
  • Follow all workplace policies and procedures.

Now list the requirements for the role. Bullet the licensure and academic requirements for the position. Also, list how much prior experience you would like to see. Are there any special certifications that are required or preferred? Finally, is this a rotating shift or for something specific each day. Will there be required on-call?

While these tips are some basic best practices for the job description, simply listing the work details online doesn’t really “sell” the candidate on why they should work for you. But what should you add to a nursing job description that isn’t inappropriate for such a high-level role?

Advertising for the Nursing Role

When it comes to advertising the job description, many organizations either lead or end with details about their hospital, health system or another clinical facility. This often includes a nod to the cultural feel the RN will experience. Since nurses and other clinical providers are so in demand, and we know that culture is a decidedly important factor in choosing jobs these days, talking about what sets your facility apart is a good idea.

Generally, candidates in this tight labor market are looking for employers that differentiate themselves. Write the job description and job ad from the perspective of the candidate, carefully considering what’s in it for them.

Organizations seeking the best talent work closely with National Recruiters to source talent around the nation. Contact our top healthcare recruiters to learn more.

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