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Nurse Retention: 34% of New Nurses Leave Within Two Years

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 13th, 2015

Nearly 18% of newly licensed registered nurses leave their first nursing job within the first year, and about 34% leave within two years (according to a study in Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice), which speaks to the need for effective, easy-to-implement nurse retention programs.

RN turnover is costly for hospitals. Its organizational costs can reach $6.4 million for large acute-care hospitals. However, researchers found turnover rates are lower for new nurses in hospitals than in other healthcare settings.

A study conducted by the RN Work Project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, analyzed existing turnover data and reported turnover data from surveys of new RNs conducted since 2006.

nurse retention The study noted different kinds of nurse turnover, and that turnover is sometimes helpful, such as when poorly functioning employees leave. They recommend organizations pay attention to the type of turnover happening in their facilities.

A high rate of voluntary turnover at a hospital can be problematic. If it’s involuntary or if nurses are moving within the hospital to another unit or position, that may imply other reasons.

Hospitals are focused on patient satisfaction, and since nurses have the most interaction with patients during their hospital stay, they greatly impact satisfaction. Long-term, experienced nurses help hospitals provide higher quality care.

Recruiting the right nurse and training him or her is time consuming and expensive. Retaining nurses should be a major concern for hospital leaders.

To learn the #1 way to increase nurse retention at your hospital visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to schedule a call with your leadership team about customizing this program that increases nurse engagement, retention and morale.

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