nurse referral program
Nov 1, 2023 — Allie Barshinger

Make The Most of Your Nursing Referral Program

It can be difficult to find a candidate that is the perfect fit for an open assignment. You know how much time and effort goes into sorting through candidates to see if they qualify and if they’ll fit in with the healthcare facility’s team. With a nurse referral program, a current employee can refer someone with the qualities you’re looking for.

In this blog, we’ll explore a nursing referral program and take a look at its benefits. Also, stay tuned for some strategies that’ll help you maximize your program to find more eligible candidates.

What is a Nurse Referral Program?

nurse referral program


A nursing referral program is a strategy employed in healthcare to source a candidate who possesses the necessary qualifications. It utilizes recommendations from a current employee to find a potential job candidate. This has a number of advantages, such as reduced costs, ease of finding qualified nurses, and reduced turnover rates.

Benefits of Nursing Referral Programs

A nursing referral program offers a number of benefits, not only for the recruiter and the healthcare organization but also for nurses.

Let’s take a look at some of these benefits:

Find Quality Candidates

Find A Quality Candidate


The main goal of any recruiting efforts is to find quality candidates for an open assignment. As someone outside of the healthcare facility, it may be hard to find exactly what the organization is looking for and if they fit in with its culture.

With a current employee being the referral source, it’s easier to find a qualified nurse as they’re pre-vetted by someone in good standing with the facility. To ensure that the referring employee offers the right fit, you should offer a bonus for their efforts.

Reduce Hiring Costs

Reduce Hiring Costs


As you know, the time and resources it takes to hire can lead to increased costs. With a referral program, less time and money is spent on advertising the job, sourcing nurses, and securing a new hire.

Current nurses can refer a pool of candidates with experience in travel nursing, RN or LPN experience, and who they think will be a good fit for the job. This makes it easier to get these nurses hired for both you and the healthcare organization.

Improve Retention Rates

Improve Retention Rates


A referred nurse is more likely to be satisfied with their assignment, which can reduce employee turnover and provide stability to the healthcare facility. A lot of employees refer a friend, so these nurses have someone to lean on when they start the job. This can be especially critical in travel nursing as the stress of moving around can lead nurses to feel unsatisfied and want to move on to their next assignment.

Strategies To Maximize Your Referral Program

A travel nursing referral program can be beneficial, especially considering some of the struggles travel nurses face when taking on a new assignment. However, it’s only as good as you make it. It’s important to ensure that you’ve built an effective referral program.

Let’s examine some strategies to make sure you’re doing just that:

Promote the Program

Current nurses can’t refer eligible candidates if they aren’t aware of the program. Utilize multiple methods of communication to spread the word. You should contact nurses through emails, newsletters, meetings, and more to ensure each person is notified.

Offer Appealing Incentives

Don’t just stop at promoting the program; offer each nurse an incentive for contributing a referral. A nurse will be more likely to refer someone if they receive some form of payment for their efforts.

One such way you can do this is with a referral bonus. These bonuses can be awarded for every successful referral made. Whether or not the bonus applies can often be determined by the standing of the referred nurse. If they’re in good standing or have been in the position for at least one year, the bonus could apply.

The amount may vary depending on the department of the position filled. Referral bonuses are a great way to encourage a referring employee to do so again or encourage others to refer someone. Referral payments can also come in the form of gift cards or additional paid time off.

A referral bonus is a win-win. It costs you less to make a payment to a current staff member than what you pay for recruiting costs. In addition, you have the added bonus of receiving a pool of eligible travel nursing candidates.

Another incentive that you can offer is recognition for a nurse who makes a successful referral. A referral bonus is great, but public recognition can encourage others to participate as well.

Make the Referral Process Simple

A great way to encourage referrals is with a process that’s easy to complete. If referring a nurse is too complicated or the process is too difficult to understand, it may discourage participation.

First, have clear guidelines on your website or in a handbook. This ensures that everyone knows what steps to take when they want to refer someone. Also, the referral form should be easy to fill out and only requiresbasic information about the candidate being referred.

Another way to simplify the referring process is to appoint a designated point person. They can answer any questions someone has, help them determine if a candidate is eligible, and offer any updates or changes to the process.

Monitor And Adjust Your Program

To ensure that referrals are effective, it’s important to monitor and adjust your program as needed. Ask for feedback from any nurse who participated or from their referrals. You can use this feedback to make necessary changes and improvements.

In addition, ensuring that nurses find eligible candidates who end up getting hired will guarantee the success of the program.

Take Your Recruiting Efforts to the Next Level

As you know, finding eligible candidates can be costly and time-consuming. A nursing referral program is a great way to reduce these challenges and source top talent.

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