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.

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