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Nurse retention


Specializes in Med/Surg and Critical Care Stepdown.

I'm curious as to what keeps you at the hospital you are currently employed at.....are there specific incentives or bonuses? Does your employer offer perks for picking up hours when staffing is short? Do you get paid sick days and paid vacation and how is it awarded (PTO or set number of days)? Does management take an assignment to help with staffing? Also, what would make you leave your current employer to go elsewhere? Thanks for the input!!


Specializes in Med/Surg and Critical Care Stepdown.

:nurse: I'm doing my own research, for my own curiosity! I believe in the theory that "the grass isn't always greener on the other side", but I wonder what makes it appear greener!!

I believe the biggest incentive most have would be the steady paycheck! I don't believe it's commonplace anymore to find incentives and bonuses for retention; when employers know they can hire two new nurses for the cost of replacing one nurse with seniority, well.....not much incentive to keep on the seniors!

It's true that there's a recognized cost-of-hire (orientation, precepting, learning curve time) BUT, by and large, employers aren't killing themselves to retain current staff when they know replacements are waiting in the parking lot. :cyclops:

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 9 years experience.

Excellent pay and benefits. Generous PTO, paid days off for volunteering in the community. Open forums for nurses with top level management. Visible, active CNO with a clear vision. Support for education and encouragement to advance. Outstanding bonus program. Covered parking. Medical library on site with medical librarians on staff. Sincere no tolerance policy for lateral violence.

Edited by not.done.yet

I don't work for a hospital but aside from logistics, my admin treats me with respect and high regard. I have some hard days but they give as much in different forms of support as possible.

TakeTwoAspirin, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

If you are a regular reader here, you might notice that when people are talking about "should I leave, or should I stay" the most often cited reason for wanting to "get out" is the quality of both the management and peers. I don't see too many threads talking about wanting to move because of pay. Personally, I have never changed jobs simply for pay. There has always been another fundamental reason for me to start looking, such as fears for patient safety, problems with co-workers, problems with management, etc.

I talked to enough travelers and nurses who have worked elsewhere who say where I work is a very good facility. Many travelers take staff positions if available. Staffing is good, willing to pay OT to meet staffing numbers but not mandated. We get our breaks and meals. Good reputation in the community. Low staff turn over which speaks volumes. Seniority. I will not work at another hospital unless I move out of the area. Even then I might not work at another hospital.


Specializes in Medical/Oncology.

Better pay and adequate staffing are two major factors in nurse retention, imho

I've been working at my current hospital for 3 months and I have seen so many people quit already. We are always short staffed. But they do offer some incentives.

$150 to $200 if you come in when they call you on your day off.

Bonuses ($1000) for not calling off on the busy season (December to May I believe) and they give others bonuses too. It doesn't seem to work to well though.


Has 25 years experience.

Mostly because I am anal and hate change.

noyesno, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Family Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

To retain nurses, consider the following:

Lunch breaks are key.

So are days off. Let us use our PTO for the love of G.

Don't micromanage me.

Let us know our work schedule far in advance.

Don't "spy" on us.

Don't make the nurses "police" the doctors.

Supportive charge nurses and managers are required.

Wrench Party

Specializes in Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgical. Has 3 years experience.

Reasons I would stay at a facility:

1) decent pay

2) decent benefits

3) management with a brain

4) support for education and career advancement (I'm a nurse

My current job has good benefits (I learned they were going to stay matching retirement contributions), my coworkers are awesome, and our new DON is out to expand nurse education. My manager does not have a nursing background, so she can be squirrelly at times when it comes to patients, but overall she does as best she can with staffing, hiring and training.


Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

I have awesome coworkers, a fantastic manager, and great perks for working extra. In addition to time and half for overtime, if we pick up a shift when we are short staffed, we get $10/hr bonus. If we're really hurting, $20/hr.

Oh, plus free tuition at our school if we work full time and school part time.

Edited by jj224

I took a big pay-cut and went to work for a non-profit. The work is still very hard physically, and stressful. We are super busy- But....

We work as a team, respect each other and mgmt is supportive. We have the equipment/supplies we need. We are treated as adults.

Health ins bennies are very good, and are affordable.

Plenty of PTO and sick leave on top of that.

Mavrick, BSN, RN

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU. Has 30 years experience.

Excellent chance to review my "green" world.

Hmmmmm...what keeps ME at MY job:

I get all the stuff you mentioned plus.

I am well paid for my experience >30 years = >$50/hr. Extra pay for certification, evening/night diff, weekend diff. $4.00 standby pay, time and a half call back pay with 3 hr minimum. In union-land and we all have similar contracts.

I like my hours. Two 12 hr shifts every Thursday and Friday. One night of call during the week, one 24 hour call once a month on the weekend. Extra if I want it.

I like my co-workers. They are good at their jobs, help when needed don't interfere when not needed. Easy to trade days with. Nice people in general. One of my co-workers, a charge nurse, has been here 45 years!

I totally admire/ respect/ like my manager. She is ex-military, excellent communicator, fair and plays by the rules. Best manager I have ever worked for and that makes all the difference.

I like my hospital. It's a medium size urban former community hospital that is now affiliated with the big State University. Lots of close ties to the clientele and easy access to educational opportunities.

Close to my home. 20 min by auto, 40 min by bicycle on an interurban trail.

And who wouldn't enjoy their five days off here. This part of the country is absolutely stunning. The Great Pacific Northwest.... 'nuff said.

Edited by Mavrick

imintrouble, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg. Has 16 years experience.

It's the devil I know.


Has 25 years experience.

I want to be Mavrick, That grass sounds pretty green.