January 25, 2012 | | Comments 0
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How to retain nurses by focusing on the reasons they entered the profession

Recognizing and building upon nurses’ dedication to their line of work could be essential to improving nurse retention rates. A survey of 900 nurses revealed that the single common variable reported by nurses from all age groups regarding why they chose nursing was a commitment to healing and an attachment to the nursing profession. As a nurse leader, it is important to acknowledge the reasons your staff chose to pursue a career in nursing and reinforce those choices.

Nurses in the 29 to 43 age range (Generation X) also indicated that the quality of their relationships with their supervisors was a factor in considering whether or not to continue nursing. Nurse leaders can address these reasons by working on good relationships with nursing staff. These efforts could include monthly or quarterly check-ins rather than annual reviews, open and frequent communication with all members of the staff, and encouraging all staff to share thoughts and ideas to address issues or concerns.

Additional variables identified by the oldest group of nurses (Baby Boomers) surveyed included work-family conflict, the quality of relationships with colleagues, and being allowed to decide how and when to carry out tasks. Try reviewing policies and obtaining feedback from staff about potential changes to improve work-family balance. Encourage nurses to alert you to any issues between colleagues and address those concerns promptly. Improving the quality of the work environment and fostering positive relationships between nurses could lead to better retention rates and a rewarding career for staff.

Medical News Today recently reported on the findings of the study, in which Australian researchers gathered data from 900 anonymous surveys completed by nurses at seven private hospitals. Though researchers noted a need for additional research, they emphasized the importance of identifying the variables that inspire individuals to continue nursing and addressing each of those variables to improve retention rates.

How do you address the variables discussed here? Have your nurses indicated any additional factors that influence them to continue nursing? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Entry Information

Filed Under: LeadershipRetention

About the Author: Katrina Gravel is an editor for the Education division of HCPro.

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