The job prospects of nurses are not good just because of the corona pandemic: The employment agency currently reports 592 vacancies for health and nursing care for Berlin, including emergency services and obstetrics. Hospitals and care facilities are desperately looking for staff. Due to the lack of nurses, some clinics have to postpone operations or cannot fully occupy beds. High demand has benefits for job seekers: the room for negotiation increases if you are one of the sought-after specialists. Applicants should use them.
“Nurses should now go to a job interview with the approach: The employer advertises for me, not the other way around.” They should clarify in advance what is really important to them and strive for it, ”advises Annerose Bohrer, professor and director of the Bachelor of Nursing course at the Evangelical University in Berlin (EHB).
Sweden has a better personal key
“The problem of the shortage of skilled workers is very diverse.” Among other things, these have been austerity measures since the mid-1990s, “says the professor. A nurse in Germany now cares for about twice as many acute patients as a nurse in Sweden. There is no single personnel system. In addition: time pressure, shift work, strict hierarchies and the feeling that they are unable to bring justice to those who need care. This frustrates many nurses. According to the German Professional Association for Nursing Professions (DBfK), demanding working conditions mean that they work part-time or are looking for new career prospects.
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This is what happened to Anneros Bohrer: As a nurse, her potential for development was limited. Because waiting for further training in intensive care and anesthesia would take so long to study nursing, she decided to study for a degree at the University of Münster. She then remained in nursing research and now teaches students to complete a bachelor’s degree instead of an apprenticeship – or saddle it for corporate training.
The Nursing Professor very much welcomes the fact that there is now a separate collective bargaining group for bachelor’s degree graduates in nursing in the collective public service agreement. Even in hospitals with their own collective agreements, bachelor’s degree graduates have good bargaining opportunities to negotiate certain working time models or to take on more responsibility.
According to the professor, it is conceivable that nurses can scientifically examine a problem in their ward to find answers that are relevant to day-to-day nursing. They can also work as care professionals in the company of people who need to be cared for at great expense. “Unfortunately, there are still too few such places,” he regrets. “However, with the increasing academization of nursing, this could change, so that nurses will also take on more responsibility in everyday clinical practice.”
“Head bonuses” are one-time, something else is important
But even nurses who have completed company training have a good basis for negotiations due to the large number of vacancies. Many employers offer company health management or attractive training opportunities. Applicants should be informed. In terms of earnings, in her experience, freedom is rather small, says Bohrer. Nursing staff should not be blinded by the “head bonuses” offered by clinics. It is more important than one-off payments for new employees to be satisfied with their work in the long run and find good conditions.
Although there is little financial space, exciting commitments can still be made in career development: Additional training, such as a practical instructor for trainees, special tasks in nursing science projects or management positions, can also mean higher salary levels.
It is difficult to answer where the most attractive jobs in nursing are. “The criteria are very subjective,” says Dr. Natalie Sharifzadeh, Executive Director of the German Professional Association for Nursing Professions Northeast, should be taken into account. “In addition to the working atmosphere and salaries, the attractiveness of work is also the opportunity to progress and the compatibility of family and work. These points are more easily accessible to larger employers, although there are also very good small long-term care facilities and attractive outpatient care services that are desirable employers due to specialization or special work arrangements. “
It is best to look at the employer in advance
Annerose Bohrer recommends monitoring potential employers to get an idea of working conditions and the team on site. She noticed from her graduates that many would like to continue working in direct contact with people in need of care. Some consciously choose to work in a hospice, psychiatric or long-term care, where people have more time left. According to her experience, however, there are also natural intensive care nurses who love the dynamics of intensive care units or rescue centers as well as work with medical equipment.
Employers can compensate for employee shortages by showing real interest in their employees. Says Annerose Bohrer: “You should consciously remember development issues and support employees in finding the right training or other job in the same company that better suits their current interests or personal situation.”