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Nurse Retention Must Include Nursing Assistants

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 1st, 2013

Front-line staff have often been the most difficult for nursing home administrators to engage, and nurse retention of this group is a daunting task. Low pay, tough schedules and the emotional stress of the caring environment adds to the problem. Statistics show less education is related to both care deficiencies and turnover – over 50% of nursing assistants will leave their jobs within one year.

New management models that promote staff education and personal growth are having an impact. Staff tend to reflect the environment created by those who supervise them, according to research of the late Susan Eaton, author of “Beyond Unloving Care.” Eaton’s years of research led her to several observations about different work environments and their effects:

  • Staff in “custodial” homes had no feedback, little training, no one to help with workloads and high frustration levels.
  • Staff in “medical” homes worked more often as a team, had better quality of life, performed better documentation and received better pay than in custodial homes.
  • Staff in “regenerative/culture change” homes were exposed to more choices, more staff collaboration, staff cross-training and had corporate cultures that promoted staff growth.

Today’s facilities are beginning to realize that investment in employees’ education is one of the best ways to retain them.

The number one job complaint among CNAs is a lack of respect in the workplace, not the low pay rates. Staffers appreciate it when supervisors praise them or give them awards, but what they really want is to be asked for their input…to be HEARD. Facility administrators have a responsibility to train nursing supervisors in how to listen as well as how to give direction and delegate.

To learn more nurse recruitment and retention strategies and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, check out my new SelfCare for HealthCare program. After you take a look, CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

One response to “Nurse Retention Must Include Nursing Assistants”

  1. I do not believe enough folks consider dental health very seriously. It is an escalating matter and one thing I really think more people need to take note of. Anyways, nice article, I am hoping to find out more soon.

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