recruiting and retention of nurses

  1. hey I need some information! I work in a non-profit hospital that is about 800 beds. I have just joined their recruiting/retention commitee and we need ideas. As with all places we are short staffed and have below average wages, but the administrators say there will be no increase of salaries. So If no money, are their other ways to keep staff? I would like to hear what other places are doing and if they have a r/r commitee. I am an RN in Tx, on a dialysis unit. Thank you. cobie
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    About cobie

    Joined: Apr '00; Posts: 5
    registered nurse


  3. by   YADA-YADA
    Have management visable. Even at night. Say once a month the manager could come in early to be available for Q's and comments etc. (5am is a good time) She could always leave early that day.
    If you cant find staffing dont pick up your bag and cower as you walk out the door tell your staff the truth and give them sympathy and encouragement.
    A nice pat on the back is good, for a job well done.
    Once a month spring for pizza for each shift. What would it cost 100. bucks tops. DONT forget about night shift!!! This group is often forgot about and we are the hardest to replace.
    If a staff member came in and did an overtime in a pinch a thank you card is appropriate.
  4. by   RNS2GO
    I believe you are going to have a hard time keeping experienced staff by buying them pizza. I think the only way most hospitals in your situation are going to keep the experinced nurses is by paying them better. It irks most experienced senior staff nurses to find out that the new grads that were hired are making about the same as they are. Most of the time senior staff is expected to do overtime, orient new staff, do charge and all that other fun stuff. You get all the added responsibility but no or little compensation. It is so expensive to orient a new nurse. Try taking some of that money to retain the experienced folks. Not only will your staff be happier but patient care will improve if you have more than one or two experinced nurse per shift.
    I used to work at a hospital that wanted us to do extra time. They offered us some monitary incentive at first, then slowly lowered how much we would get for the extra time (I had over 100hrs in 2 weeks). Then they decided they wouldn't give us any extra. They gave us a coupon for a free drink in the cafeteria. It was fairly insulting.
    I guess I have no real answers for you. My guess is your problem and many other hospitals are going to find that they have a hard time getting staff. It will probably only get worse with the up and coming nursing shortage (and present one!).
    Good luck.

  5. by   Nancy1
    I am a nurse in LTC. Our facility has a fairly stable staff. There are several things that I hear from the staff as to why they stay.
    1. The top management is finding ways to say thank you: free lunch for day shift, dinner for pms, and breakfast for nocs. This has happened when we had a good survey. We have "Spirit Days" when the staff can dress in a more casual manner: depending on what we are celebrating, baseball, football, spring,etc.
    2. On my unit I use carbonless copy memos. This way when someone has done something I noticed, I give the individual one and I have one in my book so when it comes time for evaluation, I have documentation. If what the person has done is more noteworthy, I include a pack of Post-it Notes. Our district nurses association was selling them. They are nurse oriented.
    I make sure I listen to what other departments are saying about my staff because I am not there 24 hours a day.
    If our staffing is not at it's usual high level, I pitch in. I do not take a whole assignment, but I make beds and get a couple peole up if it is a CNA that we are down. I have stayed and helped to the early med pass for pms. I do not have to do this regularly, but my staff knows I am willing to help out.
    I have an open door policy so if there is a problem my staff has learned that I will listen and do as much as I can for them. I feel it is so important that the staff know that YOU care, and YOU will follow through on their behalf.
    Good Luck, I hope I have helped.
  6. by   Suzanne
    let your staff especially have some say in improvements.
    If they realise already the place is non- profit then they must also be aware of how the "non profit" is made and used?

    Allow their experience to assist you in improving the facility for all. Most will be happy if they realise patients actually get cared for properly. Wage incentives help but that is not the only reason nurses do what they do.
    Have you asked the very people you wish to keep for ideas. You may be pleasantly suprised. They may even know how to get you that extra staff you need.
    Just make sure that if you are short staffed that you are not asking for your already overworked staff to do more again.
    Set a limit and stick to it. Burn out will cost you good nurses and those Burned out will never step back through the doors again. You have lost a good nurse but they have lost more.
    Good luck, I hope you manage the best way for all.
  7. by   jtfreel
    So thoughts. You might as a committee want to interview nurses who are leaving and find out their reasons. Would they accept a leave of absence if it is a family matter, etc? Administration and HR may frown, but it may avoid a permanent vacancy! I would recommend that this be done by a peer as their answers are often not fully understood by non-nurses or HR.

    I would also recommend REALLY taking a look at scheduling. An example: we found that a neighboring hospital (that paid less than we did) had a much lower turnover. Their secret: they allowed a scheduling pattern that afforded their nurses the ability to plan their lives in advance. Nurses knew that they would have every other weekend and every other Friday and Monday for example. They could schedule appointments and personal needs without faking an illness and calling in. They could not afford an across the board increase, but significantly targeted weekends for differential pay. It worked. Their staff was more satisfied and tended to leave less frequently.

    Good luck
  8. by   Moore
    I agree with the last statement. Schedules are very important to people. Meeting different requests can be challenging but rewarding in the end. Our floor just started a new thing where people who do more, i.e. charge, orient people, do inservices etc. get seniority in picking their schedule. Since I do all these things and more, I feel better knowing that I am getting some kind of compensation. Plus, it's an encouragement for staff to do more for their unit. I also am a huge believer in exit interviews. Find out why people are leaving. If you are the one leaving and don't feel comfortable saying why to that particular person, go above them...just let someone know why. Right now, a few people are leaving because of our "charge person", and many people are close to leaving. If management knew why, maybe they would get rid of that "charge person". And lastly, thank-you's are always important.