Did you know, the cost of replacing a nurse is equal to or more than 20% of his/her annual salary? Yes, that is true, According to the 2016 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, the average cost of turnover a nurse ranges from $37,700 to $58,400. Losing skilled nurses is costing the healthcare organizations millions of dollars every year. To be accurate Hospitals can lose $5.2 million to $8.1 million annually.
Now you may want to know what is the condition of nurse turnover in the USA. According to the 2018 National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report, the average turnover rate among registered nurses(bedside RNs) is 16.8% and it ranges from 6.6% to 28.7%. This turnover rate is 2.2% more than last year.
The increasing cost of nurse turnover can have a huge impact on a hospital's profit margin. That is why every hospital is trying to reduce nurse turnover. I am now going to discuss 5 proven strategies which every hospital should follow to reduce nurse turnover. But before that, I should discuss what is causing nurse turnover.
What is Causing Nurse Turnover?
According to an article published on the website of UNM (University of New Mexico), The reasons why nurses leave their jobs can be voluntary or involuntary. They also mentioned that following 6 causes are the top causes of nurse burnout.
- Personal matters.
- Burnout (it deserves a whole article).
How to Reduce Nurse Turnover?
Not it is time to discuss the solutions of nurse turnover problem. If a hospital wants to reduce nurse turnover they must follow the following strategies.
1. First thing first, Hire the Right People.
Nursing is a challenging profession mentally, emotionally and physically. They have to carry out lots of responsibilities. These responsibilities cannot be carried out by a wrong person. So you have to choose the most skilled persons with high moral values for the job. Hospital management should also check if the candidate has the interest to live in the city(where the hospital situated) or not.
Also, during interviews, be sure to show candidates around your hospital and tell them about your hospital's culture. Candidates will hopefully eliminate themselves if they don't fit in.
2. Offer Competitive Salary and Comprehensive Benefits Package
As mentioned earlier, salaries and incentives are one of the top factors affecting nurse turnover. People want to be compensated well but paying too much would economically harm your organization. How can you define the perfect salary range? Compare with similar level hospitals in your area. Gather information about the living standard of the nurses with similar skill. Now estimate how much you need to pay to ensure the same level of comfort and quality of life.
3. Recognize and Reward Nurses
In any organization, employee recognition and rewards are the most effective way of employee engagement and reducing employee turnover. If you are running a healthcare organization then Nurses and Doctors are your key employees. When nurses do something right, show your appreciation. You can run programs like "nurse of the month" or out "Most helpfully Nurse" etc. Keep track of their works (for this you may use various platforms) and use social media to announce.
Unlike other employees, nurses can also be recognized and rewarded by patients. Find out how to get patient feedback on a nurse's performance. Let the patients send the reward to the nurses for their care. Create the scope of the patient engagement. Use patient engagement solutions or employee recognition solutions or reward platforms if needed.
4. Invest in Their Skill Development
Nurse retention is highest in hospitals that focus on developing nursing staff. You must facilitate in-house training and skill development programs to keep nurses engaged. Show them that authority care for them and thinks about their future.
5. Initiate Support Program
Nurse burnout is one of the top reasons for nurse turnover. Nurse burnout affects patient care negatively. Studies have found that nurse burnout can impact patient infections, patient satisfaction and quality of care. But what can a hospital do to help nurses who feel stressed out?
Hospitals can initiate support programs, find out the factors causing nurse burnout and solve them. To do so, the hospital authority may need to lower nurse-to-patient ratios or implement hourly or purposeful rounding. etc.
An experienced nurse can be the best asset of a health organization. They inspire patient confidence, maintain institutional knowledge and provide leadership during critical moments. That's why every hospital and every healthcare organization should do their best to ensure that their seasoned nurses are not affected by turnover.
Wambi is a healthcare employee quality management and recognition system, leveraging real-time patient feedback and visual analytics, that facilitates both positive reinforcements in the form of tangible rewards and real-time service recovery when there's negative feedback. Wambi developed a one of a kind solution which can help to reduce nurse turnover and nurse burnout. Click here to know more.