Nurse Retention Strategies

The heart of many hospitals, clinics and medical facilities is the nursing staff that provides direct care to patients facing injury or illness. These women and men are on the front lines of health care, interacting with patients, family members, physicians and other medical staff, helping to coordinate and provide quality medical care. The demands of a nursing career can quickly lead to burnout and dissatisfaction with the role of the nurse. This, combined with the national nursing shortage, is causing medical facilities and hospital administrations to examine nurse retention strategies.

Nursing retention not only includes strategies to keep those within the age of retirement, but also seeks to find solutions to the high turnover rate among first-year nurses. As staff is limited, problems arise for these nurses including poor communication among co-workers and management, unfair workload distribution, difficulty with work-life balance concerns and scheduling issues. Many nurses find that the high level of stress attributed to nursing is directly affected by the lack of empathy from management and administration within the hospital. With a lack of educational opportunities within hospital and medical systems, many nurses find dissatisfaction with the level of career advancement available.

In order to address these concerns, medical facilities, clinics and hospitals are seeking better ways to accommodate nurses’ needs in terms of burnout, mentors, flexible scheduling, mentorship and professional development. Reducing nursing burnout can be as simple as providing a therapeutic break room or offering cross training opportunities in different areas of nursing. Establishing a mentor and cooperative leadership team can give a nurse the confidence that his or her concerns will be taken seriously. Providing training and education, including tuition assistance for nursing programs or online nursing schools can give a nurse the challenge for a brighter future, while feeling supported by the staff of the medical facility.

Nursing retention will continue to be a concern as more nurses retire due to age or age-related health concerns. By providing the means of a long and satisfactory nursing career, hospitals, clinics and medical facilities are able to retain nurses for longer periods of time and increase the overall quality of health care given to the community.