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How to Hire Nurses: A Step-by-Step Guide

The quality of any healthcare facility is largely dependent on its Nurses. These frontline medical professionals hold multifaceted roles in clinics and hospitals alike, acting as direct caregivers, facility experts, patient liaisons, and so much more – meaning the work they do can have a lasting impact on all areas within a healthcare organization, including its reputation. 


Because of the weight Nurses carry, having a strong recruiting strategy in place can help healthcare facilities to build and maintain effective Nursing teams that stick around. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few critical tips for hiring top Nursing talent in 2024.

Getting ready to hire your Nurses

An effective hiring experience requires organizations to do a little prep work, first. Onboarding Nurses with the skills, experience, and culture-add you need means first knowing what you want, where to look, and what you have to offer to make your organization more appealing.


  • Start by establishing key recruiting metrics. Tracking critical recruitment data needs to happen over the long-term in order to be effective, but setting it up early will help you to understand how certain policy changes, market shifts, etc. impact your ability to hire Nurses, and what you can do about it.

    Learn more here: 7 key recruiting metrics for healthcare.

  • Determine what kind of Nurse you need. Understanding the specific skills, competencies, attributes, attitudes, etc. you want to fill an open role will help you to locate and screen for the best Nurse for the job. Talk to Nursing supervisors or Nurses that have held the role in question before to determine what it is you’re looking for before you begin the interview process.


  • Know where to look. Different websites, job boards, etc. may be better sources for different types of Nurses, depending on what you’re looking for. For example, you might prioritize advertising at Nursing schools if you’re looking to hire new graduates. Or, specialized Nursing job sites can help you locate specialized professionals with time-tested expertise.

  • Set up a competitive benefits package. The field of Nursing is hugely competitive for healthcare facilities, and offering better pay or a bigger benefits package can help you stand out as a potential employer. At the very least, your organization should consider offering a comparable rewards package to keep you level with competing companies.

  • Talk to current and former staff to make your hiring process better. Most employees don’t last past their 90 days, which points to problems in the hiring and onboarding process. Consider interviewing new hires, current employees, and recent exits alike to get a sense of how the hiring process was for them, and how you might be able to improve it.

How to hire Nurses in 7 easy steps

Once all your preparations are complete, here are a few easy steps to take that will help you hire the best Nurse for your company.


  • Craft a detailed job description. Candidate screening starts at the job description. Being as specific as you can as to what you’re looking for, including education, experience, skills, references, etc. will filter out applicants who don’t meet this criteria so you can more quickly find and contact the top Nurses to interview.


  • Locate candidates. Make sure your job description ends up somewhere where the right Nurses can see it: this includes broad boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. as well as Nursing-specific job sites, Nursing schools, and more.

    In addition to passive candidate sourcing, your recruiting staff should also actively reach out to Nurses to add them to your talent pool. Consider contacting candidates via their professional profiles, as well as reaching out to Nurses whose resumes you already have on file, if they meet your needs.


  • Engage an insight-generating interview strategy. Nursing is a complex job involving many different competencies and skills that deliver a positive patient experience. In addition to confirming your candidate’s credentials, your interview questions should work to determine that your candidate has the right skills and attitude for the job, and knows how to apply them well within healthcare settings.

    Here are a few questions to consider asking:

    - Why did you get into Nursing?
    - What is your strategy for communicating with difficult patients? Give us an example.
    - Have you ever lost a patient? Tell us how that impacted you, and what you did to care for yourself through that experience.


  • Check references. Talking to your candidate’s references will allow you to confirm the information gleaned in the interview, as well as gather critical context which may have otherwise been left out. Make sure to speak to at least two supervisory references, in addition to colleagues.

    Learn more here: Reference questions for Nurses.


  • Make a competitive offer. Your offered rewards package should meet the standard for the specific Nursing role in your area. Make sure that the salary, benefits package, hours, etc. at least meet if not exceed the packages offered by other equivalent organizations within the area. 


  • Make onboarding a success. The onboarding process should be thorough, and adequately orient your new hire to the facilities, organizational procedure and policy, as well as their responsibilities within their new role. Take the feedback you have gleaned for current and former employees and apply it to make this part of the hiring process better: doing so will bolster retention, and allow you to hold on to that talented new Nurse you worked so hard to find.

  • Follow up. Whether they’re the newest employee at your organization or have rejected your offer, make sure to keep in contact with the candidate and solicit feedback about the process.

    How was communication for them? Did the hiring process make sense? Why did or didn’t they accept your offer? What would they change, if they could change anything? Asking these questions and acting on the answers will help you to improve the process, as well as your chances at hiring and keeping better Nursing talent in the future.

CrossChq helps you hire Nurses with confidence

CrossChq is a comprehensive talent sourcing solution that empowers healthcare organizations of all sizes to assess, hire, and retain top Nursing talent. With features like automated digital reference checking, a meaningful Quality of Hire metric, and real-time actionable insights that help you improve your hiring process, CrossChq gives you the tools you need to hire the right Nurses for your open roles.

Request a CrossChq demo here.

Mark Ko

by Mark Ko

Content Writer

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