Recruitment, retention of nurses hot issue in Memphis

  1. methodist healthcare inc. of memphis has become the latest health system in the area to put a nurse at the big table with the hiring of a chief nursing executive. the new position is charged with elevating the professional aspects of nursing and retaining the hospital's best nurses.

    memphis business journal, sept. 9, 2002
    scott shepard
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    recruitment, retention of nurses hot issue locally
    methodist makes statement with hire

    methodist healthcare, inc., is the latest health system in the region to put a nurse at the big table with the hiring of donna herrin as senior vice president and chief nursing executive.

    the position is new for methodist and is charged with elevating the professional aspects of nursing and holding on to the best nurses the hospital has.

    "nursing has become such a crisis issue, so i'm here to develop strategies of recruiting and retention," herrin says. "this is closely related to human resources, but it has more to do with leadership and developing good practices with our nurse managers.

    "that leads to retention," she says. "rather than just going out and pulling people in."

    retention is the name of the game in nursing. the bureau of health professions, part of the u.s. department of health and human services, is projecting the supply of registered nurses to peak in 2012 at about 2.2 million. by 2020 that will drop to 2 million, while the demand for rns will grow that year to 2.8 million.

    nurses in many fields, but particularly critical care, are already feeling the strain of rising workloads with far more complex patients. a wave of union activity among nurses began two years ago in california, not demanding higher wages, but some scheduling relief. there's union activity in memphis for much the same reason.

    "there's not many nurses at the corporate level, but we know the push and pull, what it's like to have a crisis in one room and a crisis in the next room," herrin says. "we can bring that to the corporate table and influence policies. without that perspective, some decisions can be made which may not be in the best interest of the floor nurse."
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    contact staff writer scott shepard at 259-1724 or
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jul 6, '04
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