Nursing News: How to Increase Nurse Retention in Nursing Homes

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 18th, 2012

Nursing homes wanting to improve their nurse retention rates should offer career-advancement opportunities, employee benefits such as health insurance, and develop long-tenured leaders, show the results of a Duke University study. These strategies are critical to improving quality of care in nursing homes and preparing for the future demand in aging populations.

Combination of intrinsic motivators (such as tuition and conference reimbursement and attendance awards) plus extrinsic factors (including retirement benefits and paid sick days) most benefit nurse retention in the nursing home setting, the study reported.

“Many nurses in nursing homes report satisfaction with work but dissatisfaction with work environment,” say Selina Hunt (Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.)

Employee-retention programs with paid tuition fees and career-promotion opportunities were more common among moderate- and high-retention than low-retention nursing homes. Combining intrinsic and extrinsic factors revealed that nursing homes with retirement benefits, paid sick days, were more likely to retain nurses.

One of the “most potent” factors that increased retention was high director of nursing tenure. Rapid turnover and hiring cycles in upper management destabilize the workforce as changing policies stress nursing staff.

These findings have broad implications for administrators, payers, policy makers…and patients.

What strategies do you have for recruiting and retaining nurses in nursing homes?

To learn more nurse retention and nurse recruitment strategies email me today at and make sure to visit my NEW SelfCare for HealthCare website!

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.

One response to “Nursing News: How to Increase Nurse Retention in Nursing Homes”

  1. Nancy Noonan says:


    Since I, too, work with nursing homes, I know that your comments are spot on!


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