Hiring a competent nurse staff is only half the battle. The other half is keeping them. A new study published in Nursing Ethics found the turnover rates for RNs is 16.5%, with each resignation costing a hospital between $44,380 to $63,400 a nurse. Furthermore, newly licensed nurses scored lower on job satisfaction and were more likely to leave their job within two years.
The Nursing Ethics report found that intergenerational conflict was a big part of nurse dissatisfaction; with millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers butting heads at the hospital.
“Younger generation nurses feel like they don’t have power over their practice, they’re not in charge, and that is logical because they are novice practitioners,” study author Charleen McNeill said in a press release. “However, they bring a knowledge of technology that seasoned nurses may lack. In turn, more experienced nurses support the clinical learning and professional role formation of new nurses. Successful nurse-leaders find ways to garner the strengths of each generation of nurses to achieve the best patient outcomes.”
McNeill said instead of looking at it as conflict, nurse-leaders need to leverage the strengths of each generation and determine strategies to empower all generations of nurses. Their research suggested a strong correlation between professional values and career development. They also found that both job satisfaction and career development correlated positively with nurse retention.
“The work culture that leaders create – the environment that nurses are working in – is the most important thing related to retention,” McNeill said. “It’s very expensive to hire new nurses. When we have good nurses, we want to keep them so we need to understand what’s important to keep them.”
For more tips on retention, conflict resolution and recruitment, check out the following articles from our Strategies for Nurse Managers site!
A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association has found that surgery patients in hospitals with better nursing environments receive better care without drastically increasing costs. Researchers found the 30-day mortality rate for postoperative patients was 4.8% at hospitals with more than 1.5 nurses per bed (NPB), while facilities with less than one NPB had a 30-day mortality rate of 5.8%.
“It wasn’t just the number of nurses that made the difference. Magnet status hospitals recognized for having excellent nursing programs and cultures do better,” study author Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, said in a press release.
While there’ve been numerous studies showing the benefits of a bigger nursing staff, the cost of hiring new staff has been an impediment for many facilities. Despite this, better staffed hospitals actually paid less ($163) overall per patient than understaffed hospitals.
The holidays are well and truly upon us, which means across the world people are panicking as they realize they haven’t bought any presents yet.
The holidays are a busy time of year for healthcare professionals, with nurses trying to balance an increased workload with holiday obligations. A few simple gifts can do wonders for morale and show nurses that they are appreciated for their work.
And if you miss the holiday deadline? Hand out presents on New Year’s. It’s a federally recognized holiday and gives you more time to buy.
So nurses can go off the clock and still let the world know who’s boss. You can buy them on an individual basis or buy them in bulk for your staff.
Good for some laughs and to remind everyone that you work in a much less dysfunctional hospital. Or that you do, but at least your janitors aren’t actively conspiring against you.
- Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul by Jack Canfield
Stories from the frontlines of nursing. Some are funny, some are uplifting, and some are moving. A good read for both new and veteran nurses.
Need I say more?
- Things that they would like
This is your chance to show your nurses that you really know them. A running joke in the hospital, fixing something that’s been broken a long time, or something particular to your area. Be creative! And always leave the receipt in the wrapper.
Temp is not the same as terrible: Study finds supplemental nurses have no negative effect on quality
What do you do when you don’t have enough nurses on staff and don’t have the funds to hire additional staff? A possible solution is to hire temporary nurses to fill the gaps made by retiring staff, seasonal needs, or new medical programs.
The Department of Health and Human Services found that there are 88,495 temporary nurses working in the U.S., making up 3.4% of the total nursing population. Most temporary nurses are experienced travel nurses who work with a hospital on three- to six-month contracts before moving on.
Yet many nurse managers are leery of using temp nurses because of a longstanding stigma associating such nurses with lower quality care. This belief has been reinforced by media exposés on shoddy temp agencies skimping on background checks and allowing temps to jump from hospital to hospital to avoid misconduct charges. [more]
A woman comes to the hospital lobby asking to visit a friend who has recently had surgery. The visitor is coughing heavily and appears to be sick. Do you let her in to see her friend? Most hospitals would say no; a well-meaning but sick friend or relative could have a devastating effect on an immunocompromised patient.
Meanwhile, a nurse arrives for his shift with the exact same cough as the sick visitor. Do you let him go to work, potentially treating the exact same immunocompromised patients you’re trying to protect?
More healthcare personnel (HCP) are getting their flu shots, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, but there are still large gaps in immunization. During the 2014-2015 flu season, 77% of HCPs were vaccinated against the flu, a 14% increase from the previous season. The highest rates of immunization—at 90.4%–was with HCPs working in hospitals.
While the increase is a positive step, it was also revealed that only 75% of nonclinical personnel had received the vaccine, including food service workers, laundry workers, janitors, housekeeping staff, and maintenance staff. The numbers were even lower for aides and assistants, with only 64% immunized. [more]
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⇒ 5/4: Who inspires you? There’s still time to submit your favorite quotes in posted comments, here.
⇒ 5/6: You can still use the 20% Nurses Week discount offered in this post.
The stories in The Boston Globe annual “Patients Salute Their Nurses” piece offer an inspiring and humbling testament to all the nursing profession can be.
In 400 thank-you letters from grateful patients, family members, and colleagues, Boston’s nurses received personal acknowledgment and messages of love inspired by their deep commitment to the profession and their patients.
Here are snippets from some of my favorite letters:
Diane goes above and beyond, treating me with dignity and respect, even calling me weekly to check on my weight and well-being. Like a friendly drill sergeant, she reminds me to keep my weight down and to pay attention to what I eat.
Joe provided intense, meticulous, and sensitive care not only to Mike, but also to his extended family. Joe’s quiet and steady presence gave us hope and strength when we needed it most. Mike did not make it through the night, but the blow of his passing was softened by the gift of time that Joe made possible.
Nurses Week is a good time to reflect on what sets the nursing profession apart from so many others. Nurses have a reverence for the work (however flawed circumstances may be on a day-to-day basis), and a commitment to bettering the “caring profession.”
This Nurses Week, please give some thought to what inspires you to reach for excellence. Submit your favorite inspirational quotes and sayings in the comments box below and we will share them so all can be uplifted. We’ll also compile the best into a resource to sustain you on the days when you face challenges.
Here’s a quote from an amazing Australian nurse, Elizabeth Kenney. In the 1930’s, she pioneered the use of physical therapy, rather than immobilization, for polio victims.
It is better to be a lion for a day
than a sheep all your life.
—Elizabeth Kenney, 1880-1952
NOTE⇒ You can use the 20% Nurses Week discount offered in this post through 5/12/2015.
Without doing a Google search, can you identify the speaker? Add a comment if so…