Nursing Retention/Award Ideas

  1. What does your hospital do to show their recognition for its nurses? What little "kudos" do you get for acknowledgement? Looking for any ideas to promote retention of staff and awarding nurses.


    What kinds of things do you think would be nice to have as a nurse? Awards of vacation hours, gift certificates, staff parties, etc?

    We've already gotten all of the salary increase they're willing to give and better shift differential. Our ratios are fine. It's just that I'm looking for ideas to help people get excited about coming to work- how to make things a little bit fun. There's got to be places that have a good handle on this.
    Last edit by Colorado1 on Mar 4, '03
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    About Colorado1

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 34; Likes: 15


  3. by   911fltrn
    People work for one reason MONEY
  4. by   cactus wren
    Better staffing.............................and more money is never refused......but given the choice I`d rather have safe staffing
  5. by   P_RN
    Once every 4 months give each nurse a week off. Not totally kidding. In the "old days" this is exactly what our place did. It was called "stress week" and it was mandatory paid time off.

    Ahhhhh, the memories.
  6. by   Tweety
    I get paid a salary, I get benefits, I get 30 days off a year. I am your employee, I'm there to earn my pay and work. I don't care if you give me any "kudos" along the way, or little prizes or recognition along the way. That's just the way I've always felt about it. I get a little irritated with people who whine during Nurses Week about the little things our management does for us. I reply, "well did your paycheck bounce?".

    That wasn't what you were asking. But what is always nice are gift certificates, to the movies, to the mall, for groceries, for a massage, to home depot, things like that. I've got enough mugs and pens.

    Anyway, that said
  7. by   emily_mom
    I would love my job more if they gave me a trip somewhere that I can dip my toesies in warm water.....and not a sitz bath....

    I would LOVE that week off....some mental health time.....
  8. by   zuchRN
    We have implemented a program that actually has worked wonders at the facility I work at. I work in long term care. This program benefits all employees and not just nursing.
    The staff development cordinator and myself have developed a program called "one in a million". It is a reward program for giving good care..doing something that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
    We have fake money printed up and all the managers hand this "money" out to anyone they "catch" doing something good. It may be that when I do rounds, I see someone answer a call light that is not on their assignment, or it may be that everyone on the assignment was positioned correctly to avoid pressure ulcers. It may be something as simple as calming an agitated resident. Whatever the deed, they are rewarded. I come in on nights and weekends. I also keep a supply in the med rooms so the nurses have access to them to hand out to employees. Also, cnas and various other departments will come and get them to give to someone for helping them with a particularly difficult transfer or something to that efect.
    Once they collect 5 of these, they can redeem them in the "treasure chest". The treasure chect has everything from food and snacks to toys to bath and body products to tools. You name it we have it in there. We also have an item list that people can save up for. We have a DVD player (it is 250), dinner with the administraor, uniforms, pedicures, dvd's, cd's. These range anywhere from 75-250 dollars. We do not limit the amount of dvd players we give out. Anyone who saves enough for one---gets one!!!!!!!!! We have already been able to give 2 away to the deserving employees!!!!!!!!!! It is not a lot---but it is effective and fun!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. by   montroyal
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by 3rdShiftGuy
    [B]I get paid a salary, I get benefits, I get 30 days off a year. I am your employee, I'm there to earn my pay and work. I don't care if you give me any "kudos" along the way, or little prizes or recognition along the way. That's just the way I've always felt about it. I get a little irritated with people who whine during Nurses Week about the little things our management does for us. I reply, "well did your paycheck bounce?".

    What you call "kudos" I call recognition for all the extras nurses do for their employer. What would happen if nurses worked only the hours they were hired for and no extra. No OT, coming in early or staying late. Forget about emptying trash, no restocking, and those extra hours of CEU's would have to be done during your scheduled hours, not during your time. If an employer doesn't recognize their employees for the extras they do, what incentive is there to continue to do those extras? Especially when upper management regularly receives bonus for the work of those employees.
  10. by   NICU_Nurse
    Dinner with the administrator? (laughing) I'd LOVE to have a captive audience with OUR administrator. But it would probably end in food and drink-flinging, so perhaps it's for the best. At our facility, they tried to do this reward system where, if a co-worker sees you doing something 'outstanding' they can write up a little slip for you- a service award slip. You collect three, you get something (prize or whatever from the hospital, free meal in cafeteria, etc.). You get three more, another, bigger, prize. Three more, etc. At the end of the year they have a banquet and hand out awards for those with the most slips. Problem? People write them out for their friends and take turns writing them so they all get the prizes. What does this mean? This means that legitimately 'outstanding' people often get NADA because they are not friends with the people who purposely write them out for each other. They also award you with 'holiday hours', ie, for every hour you work under special circumstances, you get an equivalent hour in vacation time. Now ask me if it's possible to actually get time off to use them. People who've been working there for years have a WHOLE BANK of unused hours. When they request the time off, time they earned, they are told no due to short staffing.
  11. by   Going80INA55
    There are several things that can be done to encourage people to be happy in their jobs.

    Monthly cake and goodie parties for that months list of birthdays.

    A REAL suggestion box, one that is actually taken seriously. Meaning have mngt respond in a meeting stating they recd the suggestion and what if anything that can be done. If time is an issue they can shoot out an email to all the staff.

    Monthly debreif meetings ran by NURSES not MNGT. Agenda made by nurses. Mngt can sit in. Use the forum as a problem solving meeting. We all know that we need more staff...either lack of budget money for extra staff or just lack of hires gets in the move onto things we can change.
    Like a good one would be streamlining the work area to make it more nursing friendly.


    Have mngt check the daily assignment sheets. We all know that sometimes (ok alot) the person who makes out the sheet is not always fair. I have seen so many new grads and others get burned day after day with a crummy schedule, set up by someone who is burnt, dont know what is really going on the floor or just wants to give her buds a good case load.
    This is virtually free and would make a big impact on the nurses perception of mngt involvement.
    ( I worked on a floor that the manager checked daily,,,,and believe me the patient load was fair and we seemed to get the same acuity of patients.)

    To go with above develop a nurses acuity that way we know we are being fair.

    Say a 1: very stable post op, hep-locked, possibled discharge, po meds, walkie talkie.

    A 2 could be: Running IV, IV meds, cath, still walkie talkie but with assist, more frequent vital signs.

    A 3 could be: IV, cath, Q 2 hour vitals, more treatments...IE average size dressing changes, nebs etc

    A 4 could be: bed bound, Q 2 hour turns, IVs, many meds etc.
    You get the picture.

    Once the criteria is made the nurse who cared for the patient would pick the acuity number at the END of her shift to be placed right on the scheduling sheet.
  12. by   Gardengal
    zuchRN I love that idea. It sounds like fun and rewarding. How are the funds obtained though. Is there a budget for it? Are donations sought?
  13. by   zuchRN
    The "money" is printed on our copy machine. The funds for the Treasure chest come from petty cash and whatever other budget the administrator sees fit. We also are able to buy the dvd players through HH gregg for 49$. I love it and it works well. We have all the department heads that keep stocked with them and hand them out all the time. It is fun. We probaly hand out 200-300 bucks every week. This is spread over about 110 employees in the facility.
    The beauty of it is that you don't have to be special friends with anyone. Everyone can get them everyday from a variety of people. We also have exercises every morning at 11am. It has been tuff getting everyone there when they are supposed to be. We started to reward the staff that was present with these bucks. If you are at exercises every day for the week...that is 5 bucks right there. We hand them out at inservices. we give them out for picking up extra hours, for having a positive attitude on bad days....etc, etc, etc. That is one of the things I like about it, you are not confined by strict rules of when you can or cannot give them. If you or anyone else feels that a person is deserving, you can hand them out!!!!!!!!!!