How To Retain Nurses and Effectively Reduce Turnover

How to retain nurses
  1. Be strategic during the hiring process. …
  2. Create a recognition program. …
  3. Develop the right company culture. …
  4. Allow for peer interviews. …
  5. Listen to feedback. …
  6. Encourage professional development. …
  7. Provide adequate resources. …
  8. Create collaboration opportunities.

One of the most prestigious and fulfilling professions is nursing. Studies indicating high satisfaction among nurses at every level and in every specialty demonstrate its esteemed position. Despite this, the field also suffers high turnover rates. Because of this, nurse retention strategies are becoming more and more crucial, especially as the field’s reach grows and the duties nurses perform advance.

Unsettling research from the employment firm NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc. reveals that 21% of nurses intend to stop providing patient care. Another 22 percent want to retire soon. And 10 percent hope to leave the profession altogether. The cost of nursing turnover is significant, costing an average of $44,400 for a single bedside RN and resulting in a loss of about $4 million annually. Losses from turnover amount to $8 million for the typical hospital.

Every industry benefits from high employee retention. This phrase refers to the capacity to retain the most qualified professionals on staff as opposed to losing them to rival employers. A company with poor retention may discover that employees only stay for one or two years before leaving for better opportunities. Due to this, training and onboarding expenses rise, and the ability to create a unified company culture is constrained.

Poor retention is particularly problematic for nurses because patients report feeling more satisfied when they receive consistent care. A highly skilled group of nurses can be relied upon by facilities with high nurse retention to forge close bonds with patients, enhancing patient satisfaction as well as long-term health outcomes. Unfortunately, nurses frequently leave their jobs—or nursing in general—due to burnout and other issues, making retention a problem in many healthcare facilities.

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Why is it important to retain nurses?

It’s crucial to keep nurses because, when staffing requirements are met, patients are frequently healthier and happier and the organization can achieve its business objectives. If you’re able to keep your employees, it’s also likely that they have a high level of job satisfaction and may be more receptive to teamwork, communication, original problem-solving, and skill development. Organizationally, keeping nurses reduces the expense of training and recruiting because there may be less of a constant need to find qualified nurses.

How to retain nurses

Review these nine tactics to keep your best nurses on staff, cut down on turnover, and enhance the work environment:

1. Be strategic during the hiring process

It’s critical to create a hiring strategy that is practical, thorough, and accurately reflects the organization’s values because the hiring process frequently serves as a nurse’s first impression of the company. To do this, you may consider performing these actions:

2. Create a recognition program

No matter what their job is, the majority of employees value being recognized at work. Employee appreciation can boost confidence, make them feel important to the company, and keep them motivated to stick with it. Look into ways to demonstrate to staff that you value the work they do and their daily efforts. Your recognition program can allow coworkers to nominate one another, feature them in the company newsletter, or give them gift cards to their favorite nearby restaurant.

3. Develop the right company culture

The right workplace culture can help you both find new applicants for your open positions and keep the ones you already have. Employee behavior, collaboration, creativity, productivity, and problem-solving skills are frequently directly impacted by the workplace culture. If you work in human resources or as a manager, you may be able to create an environment where all employees feel valued and have access to the tools they need to perform their jobs effectively.

When your current staff members value the company culture, they are more likely to recommend openings at your business to other professionals in their network, which can increase the number of qualified nurses you hire.

4. Allow for peer interviews

You can get feedback from these people that will affect your hiring decision by including other nurses in the hiring process. It’s crucial that the candidates you extend a job offer to feel comfortable with their abilities, experience, skills, and personality because other nurses will probably work alongside them.

The likelihood of the new hire succeeding in the position and delighting in their work increases the more the candidate’s coworkers think they’ll be a great addition to the team.

5. Listen to feedback

To better understand the workplace from your employees’ perspective, it’s important to solicit and be receptive to their feedback. This can assist you in meeting their needs and identifying areas where you can contribute to the organization’s improvement for the benefit of your staff. You can ask departing employees more questions about their decision-making, hold sessions where everyone can participate in an open discussion about their motivations and ideas, or conduct employee surveys to collect feedback. Consider regularly asking for feedback to make sure you can address any issues right away.

6. Encourage professional development

Giving your nursing staff opportunities for advancement is another way to keep them on board. Simply expanding this choice can give nurses more assurance that they can advance in their careers. You can develop training programs in the form of webinars or workshops to support their desire to advance their careers and acquire knowledge that will enable them to provide excellent patient care. You can also permit your nursing staff to go to conferences where they can network with other like-minded professionals and discover fresh nursing trends.

Many nurses value the opportunities their employer offers and might grow even more devoted to the company rather than using their new professional development to look for employment elsewhere.

7. Provide adequate resources

Providing patients with high-quality care is one duty that nurses have. When they have the equipment, materials, and supplies they require to finish their work, they are most effective at doing this. With these tools, nurses will feel supported by their employer and be able to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. For instance, new technology that enables nurses to track patients’ progress more quickly may allow them to spend more time at the bedside.

A suitable number of additional nurses can be hired to support the needs of the floor or particular departments as another way to give nurses the resources they require. Your current nursing staff may benefit greatly from having enough coworkers because nurses frequently collaborate and assist in caring for each other’s patients when necessary. When they have the chance to take breaks that will allow them to stay focused at work, they are better able to spend the appropriate amount of time with each patient.

8. Create collaboration opportunities

a on a s a a a s a a s s:s sestesss Physical therapists, social workers, medical technicians, and surgeons are some examples of these professionals. However, nurses can collaborate with other people to resolve patient issues or improve the efficiency of the workplace and overall patient care. Although these opportunities for collaboration may not be as obvious as the nurse-physician one, they can still play a significant role in improving communication, awareness, skill development, and the standard of care.

For instance, a nurse may profit from close collaboration with the foodservice division so they can be certain to develop a menu for a patient that meets their requirements. Both workers can benefit from one another’s expertise and develop a stronger professional bond that will enable them to share ideas and ask each other questions. Managers and human resources specialists can encourage a culture of learning among employees.

9. Offer a competitive salary

Many companies offer a competitive salary, sign-on bonus, and an intriguing compensation package to attract nurses due to the high demand for their services. These packages may also include additional paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and company perks. Although your current employees may enjoy working for you, it’s crucial to offer them salaries that are competitive with those of other businesses. If an employee’s salary is a key determining factor and they are a nurse who greatly benefits the organization, you may be able to keep them by paying them a salary they are happy with.


How do nurses attract and retain?

Instead of providing more money to new employees, hospitals often take an interpersonal approach when retaining their nurses.

Boosting Employee Morale
  1. Sending birthday cards.
  2. Sending employees on team-building trips.
  3. Hosting empowerment conferences.
  4. Promoting better health and wellness for their nurses.

Why is it important to retain nurses?

A highly skilled group of nurses can be relied upon by facilities with high nurse retention to forge close bonds with patients, enhancing patient satisfaction as well as long-term health outcomes.

How do I keep my nursing staff engaged?

Follow these tips to improve employee engagement.
  1. Lead with optimism. …
  2. Create a healthy, positive work environment. …
  3. Be visible and available. …
  4. Foster interpersonal and organizational trust. …
  5. Cultivate relationships. …
  6. Set clear goals and provide feedback. …
  7. Provide meaningful work. …
  8. Encourage autonomy and individual growth.

How can nursing turnover be reduced?

Healthcare leaders challenged with how to reduce nurse turnover might consider these strategies:
  1. Be intentional when hiring.
  2. Offer a flexible work schedule.
  3. Prioritize onboarding and training.
  4. Promote meaningful recognition.
  5. Provide career development and continuing education.

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