Is your hospital or health care system struggling with nurse retention? If so, you aren’t alone. According to the most recent National Healthcare Retention and Registered Nurse (RN) Staffing report, the last recorded nurse turnover rate reached 16.8%, which was a two percent increase over the year prior. The survey concluded that the average cost for bedside RN turnover is $49,500 and can exceed as much as $61,000, resulting in the average hospital losing nearly $4.4 - $7 million dollars annually!
Can health care systems continue to meet quality standards in already narrow margins if these statistics continue to grow? Specifically, within a value-based care model, these numbers have serious implications on hospitals from an operational standpoint. Finances aside, high rates of turnover can potentially affect the patient experience as well, if turnover leads to understaffed shifts and interrupted workflows.
It’s clear that nurse turnover needs to be mitigated, and what better time to initiate change than the present. Keep reading to learn three nurse retention strategies to employ within your hospital or health system!
1. Implement Self-Scheduling and Flexible Hours
What job-seeking nurse wouldn’t want to have the power to structure their own schedule? Advanced technology has made self-scheduling easy, efficient, and a popular concept among the nurses across the nation. It’s an attractive retention tool that will give your organization a competitive advantage in a highly saturated marketplace. The ability to select shifts that best suit one’s lifestyle is a significant added benefit for existing employees and is something you can capitalize on in your hospital's nursing recruitment strategy.
2. Encourage Career Development
Did you know that nearly 80% of millennial nurses and 57% of Gen Xers’ plan to pursue higher education to boost their salaries? In a survey of 4,500 nurses, only 49% acknowledged having a tuition reimbursement benefits from their employers.
Continuing education expenses can be a financial burden for those trying to advance their professional development, especially if they are already sitting on unpaid undergraduate loans.
According to a study conducted by the Cigna Corporation and the Lumina Foundation, reducing out-of-pocket costs for professional development can pay off in the long run for employers who offer the assistance – including attracting and retaining the best nurses. Creating a motivated workforce by investing in your employees will reduce turnover rates and strengthen your bottom line.
3. Show Appreciation!
Your nursing staff wants to feel appreciated. Nurses are the backbone of any hospital or healthcare facility – working long hours and making sure that the patients’ needs are met around the clock. Under-appreciated nurses are likely to experience burnout and job dissatisfaction, thus resulting in inevitable turnover. Taking the time to recognize their commitment and efforts will boost morale among your team of nurses and encourage them to perform their best every day.
Are you wondering how you can show appreciation for your nursing staff? Take a look at our detailed Nurse Appreciation Calendar for 2019! You’ll never miss a holiday with our most popular recruitment tool. Let us help you show some support for your nurses!