Everything you see about nursing lately is how to get nurses into the jobs, especially the experienced nurses. Although that is an important aspect of staffing, I really think retention is just as, if not more important. But the million dollar question for a nurse manager is how to keep them once you have them.
The orientation and training of nurses is very expensive. As a manager of an Acute Care unit, I know that most of the nurses that I hire want to move on to other areas, ICU, ED Labor and Delivery. I know this and I am good with it. It is the nature of Acute Care. But I want to keep them as long as possible to not only keep my unit staffed accordingly, but also to help them become the best Med/Surg nurses they can be.
So how do I keep them? I don’t know. I have written many times about team building and development, which is something I work on a lot. I feel that if they staff feels they are a part of a strong, cohesive team, they will want to continue to be a part of that for a while. I also recognize the teams, and individual accomplishments regularly to build esteem and trust from within the team.
My wife was just a part of a group that was working on retention of nurses at a competing hospital here in town. I reviewed what they suggested to the nursing staff and it is a lot what I have been doing, and should be doing. I am probably going to steal a few of their ideas and use them as my own.
For more Career Advice for Nurses pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!