3 Mistakes to Avoid in Nurse Credentialing

Nurse staffing agencies are the risk management for their clients, the hospital. Here are three mistakes to be aware of and avoid when you are credentialing your nurses for placement.

As a healthcare staffing agency, great credentialing of candidates is one the most valuable services you can provide clients. Credentialing is too often viewed as a necessary evil rather than an insight into the workforce and a hedge against future liability.

In practice, there are three distinct procedural errors made by healthcare staffing firms that we often see. All three issues occur in the credentialing and quality assurance phases.

“My Recruiters are the Quality Assurance Team, too.”

Allowing recruiters to credential their own candidates is the most unspoken, yet deadliest of issues in healthcare staffing. It is understandable if a small staffing firm’s employees are forced to multi-task and handle some recruiting and credentialing tasks together. But the assumption is if the firm is that small there is constant oversight by ownership. For larger firms, if you are a recruiter, you are generally rewarded for volume within the context of the minimum requirements.  Of course, recruiters want and need their nurses to be fully and accurately credentialed, but with limited time, it is easy for a recruiter to miss an expired license or document when making a placement.

Raise your hand if you have heard any of the following:

  • It’s in the mail.
  • You didn’t get my fax, or email?
  • I don’t have any missing documentation.

Remember two things:

  1. this placement, which hasn’t been fully credentialed, represents your organization.
  2. the practice of recruiters managing both jobs opens your company up for a huge liability.

If you cut corners now and try to force more on overworked recruiters, what will it cost you later? It can cost your agency its reputation, contracts, candidates, and yes, even recruiters or potential employees.

“I can do it ALL by myself.”

We hear from agencies all the time that they have outgrown using spreadsheets and emails to manage credentials, schedules, and candidates. Many of those business owners will also go on to tell us that they outgrew this process long before they got their company out of its infancy stage. Creating your business processes from scratch and consequently managing growth through spreadsheets is time-consuming, and it does not scale with growth.

The bottom line is: if your company is not using a recruiting and credentialing software, then your company is not being as productive as it can be, especially if you have more than one person in your business. In this industry, speed to placement is key, and with this inefficiency, you are probably losing a lot of candidates to your competition.

“I don’t need a credentialing strategy.”

Another thing we have learned through the years is every healthcare staffing agency has a slightly different workflow. When is the last time you asked yourself:

“What can we learn from our own process?”

Take a look at your current process and notice:

  • Common mistakes your credentialing team makes
  • Documents your healthcare professionals usually fill out incorrectly
  • Where delays occur
  • Cutting costs but not quality

Then ask, “What can my candidates do for me?”

It is easy enough to say that it is a mistake to have your recruiters multi-tasking and handling the credentialing process themselves, but sometimes it has to be done. Technology can make this easier for all involved.

With an app like Nurse Backpack, you can empower your nurses to manage their own credentials and get the information and reminders you need including expiration date reminders, missing documentation reports, and more for true transparency and control.

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Nurse Backpack is a free mobile application that enables professional credential management for end-users themselves. Alerts, reminders, resume package building and sending is possible for free from the mobile app. Built for nurses originally, school nurses, nursing students, lifeguards and many other professionals also use the app for their license and credential management.