Top 10 retention strategies for nurses


Steven Mostyn


Chairman & CEO of Alpha Recruitment. Top Expert and Best-Selling Author in ★ Recruiting ★ Job-Hunting

Top 10 retention strategies for nurses

Many healthcare systems are being faced with the massive issue of retention of their nurses. In some cases, some facilities having less than a 50% year to end retention rate. This issue is not even a regional issue but an issue that can be found in every US state. This following article will give you the top 10 retention strategies to keep your nurses happy. 

  1. Nurse Managers must treat their nurses well

If you were to get an honest reason from nurses why they left their employer, the number one reason would be how they were treated well by their nurse managers. A good nurse manager means more for retention than any other reason therefore ensure you have nurse managers that treat your nurses with respect. 

  1. Provide your nurses with a career plan 

Another reason why some nurses leave organizations is lack of career growth. Your organization must provide nurses with a clearly defined career path where they have chances for career advancement, training, and the ability to move into different units.   

  1. Pay fair market value for your nurses 

This is common sense but is not followed by many healthcare systems that is to pay their nurses fair market value. It makes sense if your hospital is paying less than your area’s market value your nurses will leave to other hospitals that pay fair market value. 

  1. Make smart hiring decisions 

There is a massive shortage of nurses that has resulted in many health systems hiring below average nurses.  Despite a shortage of nurses, clinicians and HR must ensure the nurses being hired have the technical and interpersonal skills needed for the job. A history of leaving jobs early can be a great indication of future performance. 

  1. Have a great onboarding Experience for your nurses 

The most critical time in a nurse feeling part of your hospital and organizational culture is the first few months of their tenure. Ensure there is fantastic onboarding of your nurses including proper training, and introduction to your teams. 

  1. Do not overwork your nurses 

With many hospitals lacking nurses many nurses can become overworked. As a result of this overwork burnout can set in for these nurses causing them to look at other hospitals that have better work life balance.

  1.  Make your Nurses feel like a member of the team 

Humans tend to pair into groups and nurses are no exception to this. A new nurse may be joining a very established unit with long friendship bonds. If this new nurse is not embraced by these pair groups right away, they may feel like an outcast and as a result they could look for a hospital where they are accepted. 

  1. Do not hire mercenary nurses

We all need fair market salaries but there are some nurses that are like mercenaries and have a track record of leaving roles early for more money. When interviewing nurses, if a nurse seems money orientated, they should be avoided. 

  1. Try not hire nurses with a long commute time 

Nurses work very hard long shifts and the last thing they would want to do is drive a long commute after working a 12-hour shift. Even if the nurse is ok with a long commute try not to hire nurses who drive long distances as many ends up switching to closer locations when they realize the long drive is too much.

  1. Do not keep rotten Apples 

It does not matter how good a nurse is technically if they cause drama with their teammates. If you have a nurse who causes enough drama to make other nurses quit, you should consider not keeping that nurse. 

If the above to retention strategies for nurses is implemented into your hospitals, you will improve your health systems retention rates for your organization.   

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