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A Primer on Nursing Retention Strategies

Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system. Their expertise, compassion, and tireless work ensure hospitals function effectively and provide quality care to needy individuals. However, the industry faces challenges in retaining these skilled professionals, which could create difficulties for hospital revenue cycles across the country.

High nurse turnover rates disrupt patient care, strain budgets, and decrease morale. Fortunately, various nurse retention tactics can be applied to create a more stable and positive work environment that benefits patients and staff. This primer discusses three best practices healthcare administrators can leverage for sustained quality healthcare services.


Why Implement Nurse Retention Strategies?

High nurse churn rates can disrupt the continuity of care, impact patient outcomes, and incur significant financial costs for healthcare organizations. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the turnover cost for a single bedside registered nurse (RN) is approximately $56,500. Healthcare employers must determine the underlying reasons behind nurse turnover and proactively address them.

Investing in employee retention has clear benefits. For starters, seasoned nurses provide superior patient care. Their knowledge and expertise translate into better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction. Secondly, a stable nursing workforce reduces the financial burden of recruiting, training, and onboarding new RNs.

Lastly, it promotes a positive, collaborative work environment for improved productivity. Medical facilities prioritizing nurse retention can mitigate the challenges associated with frequent turnover, such as increased workload for remaining staff and decreased quality of care.


Best Practices for Nursing Retention Strategies

They encompass multiple initiatives to create a supportive work environment and promote professional development opportunities for nursing personnel. Healthcare leaders should invest in the following strategies:

Onboarding Studies

A well-structured onboarding process is designed to acclimate new hires to the institution’s culture, policies, and procedures. It encompasses training, mentorship, and support to ensure a smooth transition and set a solid foundation for long-term employee engagement. As part of our Employer Engagement studies, Work Institute can help you identify areas for improvement within your onboarding process. This ensures nurses feel welcomed, supported, and equipped to excel in their roles.

Recruiting Studies

Do you know why nurses choose to work for you and what motivates them to stay? Medical centers should focus on sourcing candidates who align with their mission, values, and cultural fit to minimize churn. Work Institute uses targeted recruiting training to uncover the factors attracting and influencing top talent retention. Such information enables you to tailor your employment efforts and create a workplace that nurtures staff commitment to long-term tenure.

Stay Interviews

They offer a proactive approach to employee retention by identifying factors contributing to job satisfaction. These one-on-one conversations reveal employee motivations, career aspirations, and more. Listening to nurses’ feedback and addressing their issues can demonstrate your commitment to continuous growth and development.

Note that stay interviews are confidential discussions between managers and staff. Therefore, Work Institute equips healthcare administrators with training modules on conducting these discussions, emphasizing confidentiality and open communication.

Managers learn how to steer sensitive discussions through simulated scenarios or personalized guidance. By the end of the training, they can craft open-ended questions, actively listen to concerns, and develop action plans based on the gathered feedback to demonstrably improve nurse satisfaction.


How We Can Help Strengthen Your Nurse Retention Strategies

The Work Institute team specializes in workforce research and HR consulting services devised to optimize employee engagement. Our evidence-based approach focuses on measuring, understanding, and predicting staff behaviors to identify bottlenecks and offer strategic insights.

With Work Institute, healthcare administrators can access complete retention solutions tailored to their unique organizational needs. Request a Call from our workforce experts today to learn how we can support your facility’s nurse retention initiatives and drive positive outcomes. Also, visit our website to explore our range of career development opportunities.

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