The shortage of registered nurses that plagued the country for years has been eased somewhat for various reasons. The high demand for nurses led to significantly more high school graduates pursuing education in this field, and many facilities find a way to fill gaps by utilizing staffing agencies and travel nurses. They still encounter problems finding enough qualified candidates to act as interim nurse leaders. Sometimes a position becomes open and must be filled temporarily while the organization searches for a permanent employee. This is true not only of hospitals, medical centers and clinics, but of long-term care facilities as well.
Nursing homes, assisted living communities and other centers providing long-term care need a professional health care practitioner to supervise the nursing staff. In some of these enterprises, the nursing staff is relatively large and must cover all shifts. Taking on a supervisory or management position can be challenging for a licensed nurse who is unfamiliar with the facility, but these health care providers enjoy learning the new role and meeting new people. They thrive on taking on new leadership opportunities and not being tied permanently to any one workplace. That attitude is advantageous for a long-term care community that is left without anyone to fill the position and does not have anyone currently employed who is willing or qualified to do the job on an interim basis. In addition, the facility benefits from the new person’s fresh insight and ideas.
Another advantage for both the nurse leader and the employer is the possibility of creating a permanent or other ongoing professional relationship. Even when a person likes moving from workplace to workplace, one day that may change. The individual may find that one particular employer and the environment of the workplace are very appealing for his or her preferences, values and career goals. In other cases, the nurse does not want to take on a permanent position but is happy to return on occasion to fill in or to work as a consultant. The facility benefits from this individual’s leadership skills and familiarity with the employer and the staff members.