Posts from November, 2008

Keep Your POSTENs…Poor Old Sick and Tired Elderly Nurses!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 8th, 2008

Many of you have heard my keynote, opening with the story of my first job when I was 20, working with an “old” nurse – she must have been 50! She lovingly called me Brat. I lovingly called her POSTEN – Poor Old Sick and Tired Elderly Nurse! The average age of the nurse today is 47, so we are getting a lot of POSTENS in our workforce. Most of these nurses don’t want to quit, but their feet and hearts are beginning to ache. Flexibility in scheduling is key to keeping these wise experienced nurses on. One hospital offers them 6 hour shifts, from 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. or 2:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. These shorter shifts keep the talented nurses at the bedside. One CNO raved that most of the H.S care was completed by 8:00 P.M., resulting in higher patient – and employee – satisfaction. I met a 70-year-old nurse there who worked from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. During this shift she did 2 sets of vitals, treatments, and compassionate H.S. care. Now that is flexibility in scheduling! Everybody wins.

“Working Here isn’t for Everyone”

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 1st, 2008

I did recruitment events at Meridian Health in New Jersey for 4 years in a row. The CEO spoke at every event, welcoming the potential hirees and telling them about the culture of the hospital. I was intrigued when he said, and the video presentation reiterated, that “working here isn’t for everyone.” This hospital allowed no visible tattoos or body piercing, explaining that the patients, particularly the elderly, were uncomfortable with that. He made working at his hospital a privilege, for people dedicated to the mission of putting patients first. Many nurses were eager to work at this “exclusive” facility and felt honored to do so.


“Retention” Bonus

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 1st, 2008

When I presented at an East Coast hospital recently, they told me how they implemented, not a recruitment bonus, but a “retention bonus.” Nurses who stayed five years were given $5000! Ten year devotees were given $10,000! Yes, 20 year veterans, with great performance reviews, were gifted with $20,000. Considering that it costs over $50,000 to recruit and train a new nurse, this is a great investment!