With more and more seasoned Neonatal Nurse Practitioners retiring every year, the nationwide shortage of experienced NNPs is growing exponentially. Neonatal Intensive Care Units all over the country are understaffed and often unable to keep up with growing NICU populations as a result.
- According to NANN’s 2016 NNP Workforce Survey, 73% of NNP administrators feel they don’t have enough NNP staff to cover their current needs.
- By 2026, that number is expected to grow to 83%.
New graduate Neonatal Nurse Practitioners are facing fewer employment opportunities because many NICUs have too few experienced NNPs on staff to adequately train/precept and orient them, which in turn is leading to fewer NNPs overall.
Understandably, those NNP employers who aren’t in the position to hire new graduate NNPs are making any and all necessary adjustments to entice and accommodate the wants/needs of experienced NNP candidates.
Employers are now working to offer increased compensation, larger relocation packages, sign-on bonuses, tuition reimbursement for existing loans, enhanced retirement plans, additional continuing education funds, more PTO, shift flexibility, etc.
Along with additional employment incentives, it is important that NNP employers start thinking proactively about staffing. In most cases, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner recruitment only commences upon the vacation of an existing NNP position. This fact alone can contribute to inadequate NICU staffing and longer vacancy times, given that the NNP search, hiring, and onboarding process can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year, in some cases.
Although choosing to work with an agency that specializes in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner recruitment can greatly simplify your NNP candidate search, taking a proactive approach to sourcing talent can significantly improve your recruitment metrics.