Sharing atrategies to attract and retain our rehab nurses

  1. I manage a 28 bed rehabilitation unit with a 6 bed acute stroke unit in Brisbane Australia.It is a great unit with happy staff. As many of you will agree rehabilitation nursing is a very special field of nursing and brings great rewards, however we are having problems attracting new staff.Rehab nursing in Australia sometimes has an unfair reputation as being boring. I wonder if anyone has any strategies to market rehab nursing or for the retention of our nurses.
    We try to be as dynamic as possible, offer education opportunities,encourage research, encourage team participation and offer support to re entry nurses etc.
    Once nurses work in rehab, they quickly find they like it, but it is difficult to attract them in the first place.
    What do you think? Do other countries have a similar problem?
    Thank you .
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   Annette Campbell
    Pardon the lateness of this reply. I just signed onto the Rehab forum this a.m. I am doing P.T. agency nursing at a local hospital mostly on the Rehab unit. One of the enticements we used here in the states is to offer a sign on bonus of $3000-5000 payable after 1 year. In the year waiting to collect to the bonus, a nurse would have a chance to see rehab is not boring, but challenging and even rewarding. I love it when I see a pt. who couldn't swallow a month or so ago, begin to take thickened liquids and eventually graduate to water. I love to see them start expressing their first words again. You might also try making up a brochure stating what rehab is all about and showing them what fun nurses can have on the units with these special pts. Do you take field trips with your pts? That can also be a lot of fun. We don't do it where I am currently working, but I have heard of other facilities doing it. When I was in extended care myself, after 2 total knee replacements, that was something we did. Anyway, just thought I would share these couple of ideas. Hope this gives you some fodder for attracting more nurses to rehab. Good luck!
  4. by   CashewLPN
    good idea annette!
    Rehab turn around is very high.... everywhere....

    very unfortunate... and, yes..it is so fulfuling when it works...

    I love rehab alot...

    hey-- keep the good ideas coming....
    --Barbara
    Moderator

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