How to recruit nurse practitioners

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Why hire a nurse practitioner?

Nurse practitioners (NP) are advanced registered nurses who have undertaken additional medical education. They provide treatment and advice for problems you typically associate with a doctor and can prescribe medication. NPs are usually responsible for planning, delivering, and managing the healthcare service and are critical to ensuring the practice runs smoothly and patients have access to health management and disease prevention. Within their service, they are typically mentors and educators who support the team in building competencies, skills, and knowledge to support the next stages of their career development and prepare them to step into critical positions.

What is the cost of hiring a nurse practitioner?

A nurse practitioner will typically earn between £43,742 and £50,056 depending on banding and years of experience. The total cost to an employer is likely to be between £74,361 and £85,095. Whilst this needs to be factored into budgets, the true cost of leaving a permanent vacancy open is far greater than £85,095. An unfilled vacancy can lead to additional expenses for temporary staff, training, and an increased waiting time for patients who need to see a medical professional. 

What are the different types of nurse practitioners?

Nurse practitioners specialise in several areas including: 

  • Acute care
  • Family Health 
  • Gerontology
  • Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Paediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Neonatology 

Hiring a permanent vs locum nurse practitioner

Locum Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Locum NPs take on short-term clinical assignments to fill a requirement at a healthcare service or practice. This can range from a few days to months. Some practices utilise locum nurse practitioners when they have difficulty filling permanent NP vacancies due to skill shortages or when the vacancy covers a leave of absence. Locum NPs provide care, skills and knowledge until a permanent NP returns or can be hired and trained to the practice's competencies. 

Permanent Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Permanent NPs are hired for ongoing substantive roles in a healthcare service or practice. They become part of the team, allow for better collaboration with the multi-disciplinary team and provide consistent care to the patients registered at the practice. 

Writing a job description for a nurse practitioner position.

Job descriptions are important to give nurse practitioners an understanding of the role they want to take on. The details must be accurate to attract the correct candidates for the job. The job description should include the following:

  • Job title
  • Location
  • Salary
  • Role overview
  • Requirements
  • Responsibilities
  • Benefits
  • Overview of team, department, or company
  • Details on how to apply
  • Contact details 

To attract the best candidates for the role you need to showcase the benefits which nurse practitioners expect. Healthcare workers are frustrated with the lack of access to patient records, onboarding, induction and support and excessive workloads. Meanwhile, flexibility in choosing work hours and locations is a key factor for many healthcare workers, with 45% of full-time and 35% of part-time workers citing it as a reason for choosing agency roles. Other contributing factors to why workers choose agency roles include pay for 14% and professional development for 9%. Find out more insights from 10,000 health and social calre workers in Acacium Group’s latest whitepaper.  

Your job description should tackle these challenges and frustrations head-on and outline the onboarding, induction and support available in the role, the electronic patient record systems (EPR) used and the opportunities for flexible working, salary, and professional development. 

Interviewing nurse practitioners 

When interviewing for a nurse practitioner you want to give the candidate the best chance to discuss all the areas that will help identify if they are the best fit for the job. Some of these categories include:

1. Motivation and drive to be a Nurse Practitioner:

“What inspired you to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner?”

“How do you stay motivated to provide excellent patient care?”

2. Stress management:

“Tell me about a time when you faced a high-stress situation at work. How did you handle it?”

“What strategies do you use to manage stress in a healthcare setting?”

3. Clinical skills and competencies:

“Describe your experience with assessing and diagnosing patients.”

“How do you stay current with the latest clinical guidelines and best practices?”

4. Patient communication:

“Give an example of a challenging patient interaction you’ve had. How did you effectively communicate with the patient?”

“How do you ensure that patients understand their treatment plans?”

5. Teamwork:

“Tell me about a successful collaboration experience with other healthcare professionals.”

“How do you contribute to a positive team dynamic?”

6. Leadership

“Have you ever taken the lead on a project or initiative? Describe your leadership role.”

“How do you inspire and motivate others in a healthcare team?”

7. Continuous Professional Development:

“What steps do you take to stay informed about advancements in healthcare?”

“Share an example of a recent professional development activity you participated in.”

How do I find a nurse practitioner?

There are multiple routes you can take to find a locum or permanent nurse practitioner for your team: 

  • Advertise jobs on your website
  • Advertise on NHS jobs
  • Advertise on the trust's website
  • Advertise on third-party websites such as Indeed
  • Ask your current employees for referrals 
  • Use a recruitment agency that specialises in your market 

If you need the flexibility of a locum nurse practitioner or speed and efficiency in recruiting a permanent nurse practitioner, an agency that specialises in your market may be the solution. Agencies will charge an hourly fee for temporary workers and a placement fee for permanent candidates so it’s important to speak to a reputable partner and outline your challenges and requirements so that a cost-effective solution can be identified.

Find out how to deliver better patient outcomes and improve staffing with 5 tips for dealing with short staffing in primary care from our experts.  

Recruit a nurse practitioner with GP World

GP World is a leading network of primary care professionals in the UK. Our recruitment teams are committed to sourcing highly skilled nurse practitioners so that posts are filled quickly, and cover is provided across the UK. If you have a vacancy that you think our specialist team can help with, send your details through to us and we’ll help you find the perfect fit.