Neonatal nurse practitioners work on the very front lines of family and patient care. It’s so important to hire NNPs who are the best fit for your facility and dedicated to providing quality care.
Match the needs of your facility
When you find a candidate who graduated from a prestigious university or has impressive credentials, it doesn’t mean they’ll have the temperament for your team. Or that they won’t crack under the pressure of a fast-paced, high-acuity environment, or will be fulfilled by a lower-acuity environment. So, first identify the traits needed to work as an NNP at your particular facility, then interview accordingly.
Look for strong character
It’s a given that any NNP you consider is going to have the right degree and the right set of skills. But it’s the intangibles— the character traits— that are going to seal the deal. As an executive recruiter, I’ve spoken with many hiring managers and neonatal nurse managers over the years. Below, I’ve shared their secrets for finding just the right NNP to hire.
You want people to learn and work together well at your facility. Consider whether the personality and perspectives of your new hire will compliment others on your team. Teamwork, mutual respect, and camaraderie are vital in this profession—a broken link in the chain could negatively impact the entire team.
2. Ability to Overcome Conflict
Communication on the job is critical. Under stress, a bit of constructive criticism can sound curt. Take note of how well your applicants handle conflict and confrontation. If they do so with unflappable calm and sincerity, you know you’re looking at a valuable candidate.
3. Positivity & Personality
A positive attitude and energetic personality go a long way, especially after your NNP has put in a long day. While you won’t necessarily find evidence of an upbeat personality on a resume, you can look for signs during the interview as well as through the references you seek out.
4. Work Ethic and Reliability
Work ethic, again, is something you have to flesh out in order to find. A first indicator, however, is that your candidate arrives punctually for your interviews and dresses professionally. If your candidate has taken the time to research the history of your facility, all the more indication of professionalism and a strong work ethic.
You can tell by the way candidates talk whether or not they are passionate about their profession. Follow the signs: they write compelling and enthusiastic cover letters; they speak to the joy the job brings them; they have strong opinions and innovative ideas about what can be done to improve the neonatal nursing practice and patient outcomes.
Flexibility is key in our profession. When you find a candidate who is enthusiastic about learning and practicing new disciplines, you’ve found someone with an open mind and a willingness to bend.
The best nurses are those who truly care about their patients and want to make a difference in their lives by providing the most quality care possible.
Again, it’s not always easy to assess this characteristic from a resume or even in person. But little cues such as volunteer work with the SPCA, or references mentioning bedside manner are good indicators your candidate enjoys taking care of those in need.
Candidates who dress professionally and are responsive to phone calls and emails, from both you and your recruitment firm, show potential for being professional and conscientious. Good strengths to have!
9. Critical Thinking
Don’t drag your heels
Conduct a thorough search. But don’t delay the process. Top candidates are often considering multiple offers. Every day you delay your decision is another day she may be speaking with another facility. And while you may also be her first choice, she may easily grab the offer made by her second-choice employer.
In fact, some of the best candidates for your position may already be employed and you will need to demonstrate your commitment and desire to have them at your facility in order for them to feel comfortable making a change.
If you drag your heels your candidate could become disillusioned.
Deciding on the right NNP to hire is never an easy feat. But when you follow the tips above, your new hire can make a long-lasting and positive impact on both your patients and staff.