Ask the expert: Blueprint of the best nurse candidate

Nurse Leader Insider, April 4, 2011

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This week, Patty Kubus, RN, MBA, PhD, shares advice on how to hire the best candidate for your organization based on four areas of performance.

Q: What are some important things to look for when I’m considering who to hire for a nurse position?

A: What does it take to be successful on your unit? You probably already know this, but if not, be sure that you have a clear picture of whom you seek. It is likely that your HR department has carefully determined the competencies and qualifications of the successful person for the role under consideration, but they may not know the intricacies of each unit. Talk with your HR department to ensure they have a good understanding of the open position.

Performance is based on ability, motivation, opportunity, and culture.

Ability. Consider the knowledge, competencies, and experience required for successful performance on your unit. You will gather data on knowledge and experience from the resume.

Motivation. You’ll need to discover what motivates candidates and then determine whether your unit and organization provide those types of motivators. Nurses need to be intrinsically motivated toward their jobs, meaning that they enjoy working toward meaningful goals, and they are motivated by learning and using their skills so that they can stay challenged.

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Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? E-mail your queries to Associate Editor Jaclyn Beck at and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts

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