Healthcare Leader Onboarding 101

May 21, 2021

Jennifer Loomis

ON n BOARD n ING noun

Definition of onboarding: the act or process of orienting and training a new employee

Courtesy of Oxford Languages

// “Before coming to Parisi Healthcare Management, the interim leader was prematurely going bald due to the onboarding practices of other firms.” // Unknown

Let’s face it, the mere mention of the word onboarding can put a foul taste in one’s mouth, but exponentially so if you are an interim healthcare professional from out-of-state who is expected to start in 1 week. The interim leader is onboarding remotely with the staffing firm that has contracted their services to their hospital client and must check all the boxes for the hospital’s onboarding requirements. No two snowflakes are the same; that is the case now. Each hospital has its own unique set of documentation and onboarding requirements.

How does PHM tackle what is all too often “documentation retrieval overload” so it doesn’t feel like you have just sat for the TEAS test again?

The last thing anyone wants is for the interim leader to show up on day one only to learn they cannot start due to missing or incomplete paperwork.

Onboarding begins with your Account Manager gathering some basic information, then hands your file over to the onboarding team. From there, the interim leader’s information is combined into a single comprehensive workflow package. Next, a brief onboarding call is scheduled between an onboarding team member and the interim leader. Before the call, the interim leader is emailed the step-by-step onboarding process discussed during the onboarding call.

The three most timely components to the process begin with initiating the background check, drug screen, and reference checks. The next time-sensitive item is the TB test. Each hospital varies widely regarding how recent the TB test results need to correlate to the assignment start date.

The good news is that if the interim leader follows good record-keeping habits, they can dramatically reduce their stress and the time involved in the onboarding process.

The key to a smooth onboard is following a digital file (pdf/jpeg) naming protocol:

 EX:  Janet Smith – Drivers License – Expires 04.18.2023

  1. Only one document per digital file, except your immunization titers
  2. Put the date the document expires
  3. For your vaccinations, instead of the expiration, you will put the vaccination date

Keep all files within one folder, so you will easily know what documents or vaccinations need to be updated/renewed upon opening up the folder. The list below are items you will be asked for, regardless of the hospital or state you will be working in.

  • Drivers License                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Social Security Card or Passport

To verify citizenship, you will either need to provide your Social Security card or your US Passport.

  • Immunization Records

All titers should be combined into one PDF file

  • Measles/Rubeola
  • Mumps
  • German Measles/Rubella
  • Hep A
  • Varicella
  • Vaccination Records

Each of the following should be on their own PDF file, with the date administered.

  • Annual Influenza
  • Tdap
  • TB*

*Usually, an interim leaders’ TB testing is ordered and paid for by the hiring staffing agency. The staffing agency is responsible for sending the results to the hospital they can provide to satisfy the requirement.

  • Annual Physical

When naming the PDF file, put the date of the physical exam.

Your physician needs to state that you are fit for duty. Most hospitals require that your physical exam is within 12 months of the assignment start date; by having an annual physical, you will always comply with the 12-month stipulation.

All too often, interim leaders who have not been diligent about getting an annual physical are left to scramble trying to get an appointment with their physician before the start of their assignment.

  • Certifications

Each of the following should be on their own PDF file, with their expiration date.

Examples below:

  • BLS (Basic Life Support – Class Recognized by the American Red Cross)
  • ACLS
  • PALS, etc.

Be sure you copy the front and backside of the card

  • Proof of Auto Insurance ID Card

Most interim assignments include a rental car for transportation within the assignment location. Proof of insurance will be required.


By keeping all PDF files in one folder, you can easily see your expiration and vaccination dates. Also, make sure you have good legibility when saving the PDF. Some older titer result files that have been copied over and over are nearly impossible to read. Hospitals will not accept an illegible document.


If you are missing any of these items or need to get an updated test, PHM assists in making arrangements for you to get them completed. And unlike many firms, upon approval, PHM covers the cost for these items.


Regarding required RN licensing, if you are not currently licensed in the state where our client is located, we will also assist you in getting licensed. Again, upon approval, PHM covers the cost for the application and fingerprinting.


Onboarding is a mission-critical part of the hiring process, which requires prompt responsiveness to all onboarding requests. Visit us at