any New Ideas that work?

  1. Anybody else have anything going on at their facilities that is actually working in recruiting & retaining staff RNs? Theres got to be some creative solutions happening somewhere!

    We all know WE have the solutions, right? So I thought I had a brilliant idea for retaining our most experienced RNs, keep them from retiring & us losing their expertise, so I presented it to our nursing administration.

    Basically, we have RNs retiring around age 55 - 60 because of the physical labor of the job & the hours. And we have new grads who are getting fragmented orientations with different preceptors because of assignment acuities & maybe not as much support as they could have on the floors because everyone is so busy & current preceptors also have their own assignments.

    So I suggested that instead of just letting the experienced RNs go, we offer them a part time position as a preceptor only - keep their seniority intact, provide a better salary & benefits package than just the part time deal to recognize the valuable contribution of passing their expertise on to a new nurse & being a mentor, change their focus to that of teacher, team them up with their own new grad for the days the new grad is orienting on the floor instead of in the class, & assign them 3 or 4 pts together(depending on acuity & unit). Sort of like giving the new grad her own personal clinical educator.

    I figured the new grad would have continuity, consistency, & 1:1 indiviual attention with the same preceptor each day she was on the floor, & a manageable assignment she could actually learn from; the experienced RN would have a lighter pt load, time to focus on the new grad & teaching, & have a shorter work week since the new grad is in class part of the week; the other floor nurses would have better staffing ratios because this 'team' would be taking 3 or 4 of the pts off their hands; and the pts & hospital would retain the expertise of a nurse with at least 30 years experience in the field. And instead of the hospital paying the RN the 30 yr FULL TIME salary, it would be paying her less - but better than part time with the preceptor stipend. Still a savings. Everybodys needs are met. Everybody wins. Ingenious! Right?

    Wrong. It seems the hospital wouldnt be getting its moneys worth & the concept is 'too expensive' to be giving a new grad her own preceptor to focus just on teaching her at the bedside & too expensive to pay a nurse for not having a full load of pts. Better to just let that expensive, though experienced, 30 yr RN go out to pasture ---- & take her expertise with her.

    Im not letting this one go. I still think its a brilliant idea.

    Anybody have anything else thats working to recruit & retain staff nurses?
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 8, '02
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    Your idea sounds very good to me, -jt.
    Of course the admin sees all nurses as interchangeable ciphers, and it means nothing to them that new nurses would get up to speed more quickly this way and be able to deal with a full load of patients earlier than they do now.

    They don't know about nor care about anything except numbers--and an experienced nurse counts as ONE, just as a new nurse counts as ONE.
  4. by   oramar
    that is truly an original idea, resistance to new ideas by managment is old hat

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