I’ve met with many of today nurse leaders, human resource professionals and health care executives, and I’ve spoken to hundreds of industry experts.
I’ve often wondered why these industry power houses all struggle with the same nagging issue – recruiting and retaining skilled nurses – and they repeat the mistakes.
The demonstration inspired me to write”7 most frequent nurse retention errors,” bringing together inspirations in the many specialists I have met, such as Thieman. I hope this simple, but guide helps organizations find solutions to the problem of retaining and hiring quality nurses.
How many of the 7 most frequent mistakes can you realize in your own organization?
- Inadequate staffing levels
Many hospitals today are struggling to find and retain nurses. The reasons are many: staffing cutbacks in the 1990s used to offset a lack of teaching nurses at schools, rising healthcare costs, and perhaps even less interest in the profession by Millennials. Despite the reason, the outcome is the same there is a period of inadequate nurse staffing levels. As the work load is absorbed by existing staff members, job satisfaction and stress increases declines, leading to greater turnover. Therefore the cycle continues. We have been contacted by hospitals that have tried for years to maintain proper ratios, but the problem worsened. They are frustrated; nurses are miserable, and patient satisfaction suffers, together with safety.
With all its complexities and change, a new approach is required by today’s healthcare environment. One sets recruiting and retention targets, focused on a recruitment and retention plan that begins by defining the nurse staffing ratios to your facility and uses and long-term recruiting methods.
- Training programs that miss the mark
As hoped, nurse trainees are not as productive or satisfied with their new positions. Why? It may be because training isn’t sufficiently customized to prepare nurses to the full-range of expectations and responsibilities that will determine success in their own organization.
What better way to learn this than from a co-worker and fellow nurse. I recommend our clients adopt a nurse preceptor program. Then narrow your candidate pool by determining who has the temperament. These are your preceptors. They are.
Bear in mind, there is a nurse that is good not a good trainer. We learning applications to prepare them for preceptor functions and teach our nurse placements communication skills. Look for these skills in your employees or consider training for them. Don’t forget to adjust your preceptors’ workloads to account for their new responsibilities, so they don’t experience burnout.
- Cultural calamity
Every organization has attitudes, beliefs and values that define it and guide its own practices. A worker who believes in those values strengthens the organization, as well as fellow co-workers. But, one who is out of step inhibit the effectiveness of your nurse team and will bring down morale. In a high-stress, fast-paced environment where a team is relied on by co-workers , cultural fit is vital. So, whether you’re onboarding staff or relying upon an agency to train nurses that are international or traveling, start looking for both a strong clinical and program matched to your organization. Ask how physicians on assignment are trained, so you know they will fit smoothly into the U.S. health care system and understand the needs of American patients. Are your nurses on assignment willing to address Americans’ health concerns and expectations of the healthcare providers? Do they understand the role of compassion and relationships?
Ensuring cultural alignment to your organization will strengthen your nurse team’s performance and bolster long-term retention.
- Lagging compensation and livelihood opportunities
Not everyone is motivated by money, but retention and recruitment problems are all but guaranteed if your nurse compensation package doesn’t keep pace with market competitors. So, whether it’s time-off, bonuses, flex schedules or salary, know what your competitors are offering and match or exceed it to make certain you don’t lose your nurses.
- Strategic planning that isn’t
The best wineries are often the hardest to recruit, and even harder to retain. You require a plan. Engage all stakeholders in developing your strategic solutions, particularly nurses. Think beyond your approach. Consider all options. Are hiring bonuses workable? Will they help build a long-term, stable nurse team? What role will nurses play? How will you gauge the effectiveness of your strategies?
- Boomers versus Millennials
But, what does that mean to your company and how have you prepared your nurse group? Developing relationships beyond our comfortable, niche groups is not natural for adults – Boomers. After all, we have spent a lot of time creating particular styles and patterns, and we love those that think the same. Without adequate motivation, that will not change. To optimize each generation’s contribution, your organization must help facilitate the dialogue that fosters appreciation and understanding for the contribution of each group. Only then will you’ve got a fully functioning team.
- Overly aggressive competitors
A client complained that, when he thinks he’s winning a competitor from a neighboring state stakes out in a nearby hotel the battle, and recruits and interviews his nurses – work schedules that were better and offering bonuses. My response to that is refer to items 1 through 6 above.