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What to Keep Your Experienced Nurses? Boost Their Morales!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 15th, 2009

oldernurseExperienced nurses provide quick and accurate assessments of patient health and well-being, mentor less experienced staff, maintain institutional memory, and perform numerous other vital functions.

As the population ages, and the baby boomers need  more hospital care, retaining veteran nurses will be even more critical. But today’s nursing workforce is also aging, and numerous surveys find that more than half of today’s employed nurses plan to retire in the next 15 to 20 years.

There are solutions; hospitals, medical centers and other health care organizations can initiate activities that help to keep more veteran nurses at patient bedsides, according to a new study supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and coordinated by The Lewin Group.

The study, “Wisdom at Work: Retaining Experienced Nurses,” finds that many hospitals  lowered turnover rates among experienced nurses by making a concerted effort to improve nurse morale and productivity.

Ergonomic initiatives, such as teams and equipment to help nurses lift patients and other heavy items, did not contribute to an overall drop in turnover among experienced nurses; however, they did improve morale and cut expenses associated with work-related injuries, the study finds.

Foward-thinking hospitals paying attention to the morale of their nurses during these challenging times. When I deliver “Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul” to staff, I give them tools to care for themselves as they care for others and honor them for all they do. They leave renewed, recharged, and recommitted.  I can help boost your staff morale and help you retain your experienced nurses. Contact me.

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