Looking for ideas & advice on retention

  1. I was recently asked to join a committee at my workplace that consists of the CEO and nurses from each unit. This committe is basically set up to brainstorm ideas and put into action ways to retain the nurses that already work at the hospital. I know what would make me happy, but I would really like to hear ideas from everyone else. I would appreciate anyone's input on this.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   flashpoint
    I would like to see a focus on retention rather than recruitment...I know that is a pretty broad statement, so I'll try to elaborate a bit.

    Sign on bonuses are nice, but what about RETENTION bonuses? A lot of nurses I worked with got pretty frustrated at seeing people get $3000 for staying six months, while they got a pen and pencil set for staying 10 years.

    I would like to see managers avoid making promises to new employees at the expense of old employees. The hospital I worked at had one nurse for each department at night...when I did ICU, the new ICU nurse was promised a set schedule of only working Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. The float worked only Wednesday nights. That made it impossible for me to attend a class I was taking every Thursday night, I never got to go to my daughters' band and choir concerts since they were always on Thursdays...I had to make a choice of going without sleep or missing their volleyball games since they were on Saturday mornings, I had to drag myself to church dead on my feet every Sunday because I worked every Saturday night. A great incentive for a potential employee, but not very fair to me.

    Let seniority play a role in deciding vacations and holiday schedules. I agree that everyone should work their share of holidays, but I've seen way too many cases where someone works five Christmases in a row because new employees refuse to do it or have plans for Christmas before they are hired. I've seen too many new employees get vacation ahead of old employees because they threaten to resign if their time isn't granted.

    Make pay based on seniority as well as merit and experience. It's pretty unfair to see a long time employee making $20 an hour while a new one is making $19. I know you aren't supposed to discuss wages, but it happens. I had been in my old job for almost 8 years and was making the same $$$ as someone who had been there for 3...she had 5 more years experience as a nurse than I did, but I think proving loyalty to a facility and working there for a long time is worth something.

    I know there are a lot more ideas out there...best of luck to you!
    Last edit by flashpoint on Sep 14, '06
  4. by   flashpoint
    Um...someone else has to have some good ideas...I know we're not supposed to just bump posts up to the top for the sake of bumping them up, but...
  5. by   sunbeach73
    My suggestion is for management to have an open door policy. I have heard many many stories about nurses being rude to one another. Maybe if Management had an open door policy regarding co-worker bullying and took some kind of action against it companies could retain employees. I know I for one will not work somewhere where I feel uncomfortable. I have friends that have quit there nursing jobs because they witnessed bullying.
    Also maybe the company buying lunch once a month is nice too. I am on a recognition committee at my current job. Once a month we hold a luncheon for everyone where the company pays for the meal and each one has a theme to it to make it fun. Prizes are awarded and those who have years in get recognized and a token of appreciation is awarded as well.
  6. by   snowfreeze
    I had remained at one facility for 6 years because they gave me the position I wanted and I did have self scheduling that was usually what I needed while I was a single mom with 3 kids. I left that facility for one year to travel and returned to them for another 1 1/2 years with little orientation which suited both myself and the facility. I am working now at a facility which recognized my 14 years of experience with an extra week of PTO upon hire and allowed me to use PTO after my first 30 days. I plan to stay there until I travel with my youngest daughter in another year and a half, I will probably come back to this facility when I finish traveling. Can they keep me forever, probably not as I am a kinda gypsey at heart. I am dedicated to a good facility that treats me well though and will speak highly of them to other medical professionals as well as general public.
    Respect for me as a nurse, one on one conversation with the unit manager, schedule that works for my lifestyle at this time, pay comparable to my experience, happy co-workers...working in a moshpit is not fun.
  7. by   Jolie
    Flexibility in scheduling. I am not working in nursing at this time because of my inability to find a hospital job that does not require 12 hour shifts.

    My body can't handle it, and neither can my family. I'd love to do 4 or 6 hour shifts, but they don't seem to exist anywhere. I even have a "buddy" with whom I would job share, splitting shifts, weekend and holiday requirements, but no takers. Between us, we have 22 years of OB/NICU experience that is simply going to waste.
  8. by   km5v6r
    The facility I work at charges for parking. After so many years of continous service cut the cost of parking or eliminate it completely. With what we pay per month someone who has worked here for 20+ years has practically paid for the friggen parking structure.
  9. by   badgernurse
    Wow, where to begin. I would really like to see for a change a hospital system truly take into account the issues nursing faces today. Not just lip service and not replying to raised issues with a canned answer or rhetoric from Business/Marketing 101. I want your CEO to understand that we are the healthcare system and we are professionals. With that said, a salary hike would be nice, but it only helps slightly.

    1. Scheduling: Make it self scheduling. And when you make it self scheduling, keep it self scheduling. Negotiate with staff to work on that Friday PM shift if you need more nurses. Don't just change the schedule after you touted self scheduling. Yes, that means if I am a new nurse, I will have to work nights or PMs for a while, I will have to rotate shifts until I get ahead on the totem pole. I will have to work some holidays and some weekends. You set the guidelines, stick to them without favoritism, and I will put in my time. This shows respect for a nurses time off, consideration for a family life and outside activities.

    2. Promote education: Beyond nursing school, encourage certifications like the CCRN. Pay for the test. Hey, if you threw in a bonus or even a differential, you'd have a very competent staff capable of bringing knowledge to the bedside and to new staff or staff stuck in the last century with regard to practice.

    3. Encourage engagement: This is something that could turn into nothing but rhetoric. Be careful! When you form a committee and ask for input...listen! Workgroups and committees can so easily turn into "This is how the suits want it done, now how do WE get OUR staff to do what WE want" When you ask people for input, yes, you sometimes get 90% b*tching. However sometimes people...especially the ones actually doing the job...have some really good ideas! Plus (Business 101) people are more willing to change, try something new, or get involved if they themselves are involved in the decision making or at least have the chance to be actively involved.

    4.Don't screw around with my daily duties unless you have taken it to a committee with nurses that do the job I do and actually listen to them. Just because one person in infection control thinks that all nurses should start filling out a three page form every time someone has pneumonia, doesn't mean you will eventually have less pneumonia. I completely understand JCAHO, action plans, etc but an action plan should have action behind it. And not the kind that requires correct spelling.

    5. Last but the single most important...PATIENTS: Remember them? We are here to take care of sick, elderly, post-operative, post-trauma and brand new little people. There are many things that get in the way of doing my job. Sometimes families, doctors, my boss, endless papers, departmental egos, and even patients themselves. Please don't add more barriers. If a doctor complains about the fact that I told him "I don't have time for your tirade, your patient is losing blood pressure", do not scold me or send me to a class on how to develop me psychologically. Stick up for me and support me. We as nurses spend the most amount of time with your commodity and you should remember that.

    I apologize that this is long but I really got going. I see so much potential for the nursing profession but see it going more and more in a business direction with so much dialogue about everything but the people we are there for. In the city where I live, there is one hospital that has managed to retain nurses so well that they have not used agency staff in years. The only jobs are straight nights where you will stay until several people retire. I would like to see more of this.




    Quote from KTYRN
    I was recently asked to join a committee at my workplace that consists of the CEO and nurses from each unit. This committe is basically set up to brainstorm ideas and put into action ways to retain the nurses that already work at the hospital. I know what would make me happy, but I would really like to hear ideas from everyone else. I would appreciate anyone's input on this.

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