Nursing turnover/retention, safety


  1. How many years experience do the majority of the nurses on your unit have?

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10 members have participated

I work in a community hospital on a surgical unit- over the past year (12 months) we have lost 21 employees. This is a mind boggling number, and management is choosing to gloss over this. For a school project I plan to speak to management at a union negotiations meeting about how unsafe this is but I am having trouble finding research to back me up.

At 3 years of nursing, I am the third most senior employee with the organization on the unit; some nurses were recently hired with more nursing experience but different backgrounds. These nurses have around 6 months of experience at our organization and are already orienting new employees to the unit. I get asked many questions from them, orients in tow, since they have never worked in an acute hospital setting. The rest of the employees are new grads.

When I first began, the unit had many nurses with 20+ years, and I want to warn of what my last job was like- where new nurses would stay for 6-12 months experience, and leave immediately. Nurses at my old job with 1 year of experience were training new nurses, and in charge.

I am wondering if this is just a Connecticut thing, or maybe a hospital-conglomerate thing. If anyone has any research articles they've come across or any personal stories, I'd very much appreciate it!

dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts

Is the employer doing exit interviews to determine why 21 employees chose to leave? Is the workload unsafe? Is there a hostile or poisoned work environment? or did more employment opportunities open up at a new local hospital? Employers can't retain employees if they don't address why they are leaving.

dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts

There is an 'Evidence-based safe nurse staffing toolkit' developed by the Canadian Nurses Association and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, it has research and resources that can help you with your school project and to prepare for your meeting. You can find the toolkit on


43 Posts

Specializes in ED,Ambulatory. Has 34 years experience.

I retired from a community hospital in CT about 18 months ago. Your comment has me very curious! I think this very much reflects the working environment - obviously, people are bailing because they're not happy in this place. Get-the-experience, get-out kind of thing. Otherwise known as "No ****** Were Given."

When I retired there was no exit interview. My manager was nice as a person but she's basically putting in her time until she can retire and is not an effective as a manager. Unless being a yes person to the next boss up the food chain counts as effectiveness.

My hospital was one of a big corporate conglomerate and morale was pretty low across the board.


927 Posts

My unit is currently going through the revolving doors, too. Fortunately we have nurses with 10-30 yrs of experience. Unfortunately the only reason they stayed was because of their full time status/seniority and are ready for early retirement. So it'll be a hot mess in a few years.