Improving first-destination recruitment: nursing students' perceptions of three initiatives in London, England
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BACKGROUND: In the face of recruitment problems, managers are becoming increasingly proactive by introducing novel initiatives designed to encourage newly qualified nurses to apply to their institutions and catchment areas for employment. AIMS AND METHODS: Based on a multimethod survey of students from two British universities, this paper explores their perceptions of three very different initiatives, each at different stages of development and implementation. The 'Home Trust' initiative, provided the majority of clinical placements in one hospital. It was experienced by almost all the students who reported on it in questionnaires (n = 650), focus groups (n = 7) and interviews (n = 30). The 'On Secondment' initiative, seconded Health Care Assistants from their jobs into nurse education. It was experienced by a small number of students who reported on it in questionnaires (n = 32) and focus groups (n = 3). The 'Recruitment Clearing House' initiative planned to provide one interview for a range of hospitals and job vacancies in a large geographical catchment area. At the time of data collection, it was in a conceptual phase and was commented on in a small number of focus groups with students (n = 3). In addition, this initiative was commented on by recruitment managers in interviews (n = 3). RESULTS: Students held strong views on the positive and negative features of both current and prospective initiatives. Unique consumer insights were gained, particularly into their finer details and consequences. CONCLUSION: Student experiences and perceptions are valuable in the planning, implementation and review stages of local recruitment initiatives.