Retention Ideas

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in Perioperative, Informatics, Education.

Wondering if you could share what ideas/programs/etc. your place of employment does to help retain their staff? Thanks!:)


I've read over this a couple of times today and frankly I am at a loss to think of any.

A few years ago our place actually gave us 2 bonus checks for about $250 each. That was in December. Then January 1 the new CEO decided we needed a new dress code and we all had to buy new uniforms.....hmmmmm

Oh yes, and then there was the decision that everyone should have to work nights, except those who had it in with the Nurse Manager....they didn't work nights....hmmmmm

Oh and then there were the 100 nurses who were laid off.

Nope, can't think of any retention secrets that place had.



:( :( I just told my sup. that I was really stressing over work and my worst stressor was on-call, I asked to be cut back or I was probably going to have to look elsewhere. I came up with several ideas to relieve on-call stress. I was given a weeks vacation and then told it could'nt possibly be work, it must be you're having family problems. Geewiz, they never want to take responsibility for over working their RN's.

I really like the hospital I work in, I think they have some really good ideads and treat the staff in general pretty good. RN's get a retention bonus every six months. It depends on your senoirity. Example:up to 1 yr nothing, 1yr up to 5 yrs. 1.5% of your gross pay, 5 yrs up to 10 yrs. 2% and 10 to 20 yrs 2.5% and over twenty yrs 3%. It really dosn't sound like much but it is nice in Jan. after Christmas to get a 400.oo check and then another in July. (of course Uncle Sam gets his cut because my check is usually about 800.00) We also get 100.oo bonus at Christmas. Then every 3 months they hand to all employees gift cert. for a nice rest. in town like Olive Garden, Red Lobster and even movie tickets. Last few months we all got 50.00 gift cert. to Mejiers a large grocery store or Walmart. Last month they did bench marketing with other hopital and surronding states and the RN's got a .50 pay raise. They are always trying to help. They also pay for all of my BSN schooling a year and all my certifications as a RN like CPR, ACLS, PALS and TNCC. We have a committee formed to poll our nurses as to what is important to us and what we want. I would really like to add to our benefits like retirement, basically very little is done esp. the insurance part of it all. If you have any more ?'s e-mail me and I will dig deeper at work and try to help you. We all have to work together as nurse!!!!!!!:eek:

One place I worked offered to pay a bonus for doing overtime (one shift a pay period for a total of 7 shifts in 14 weeks) it was a bonus, depending on the area you worked in and the amount of help they needed, between $2000 and $4000. thsi was an effort to get rid of travellers. Didnt work, of course, the need was jsut too great, but the staff was really on board with the idea

Our hospital just lost 30+ nurses to a competitor offering a 15K sign-on bonus with a 2 year contract. They also pay an average of 7$ more an hour than most of the hospitals in the area. Now our administration is asking us about retention ideas. Personally, I am going to suggest payment of student loan balances, possibly as a % each year paid out as a retention bonus. This represents about 300$ a month to me and anything to help pay it off would be great incentive to stay. I have heard talk of "loan forgiveness " to attract people into the profession and boost nursing school enrollments so why not help some of us already in the profession still chipping away at these loans. I know that if you work for a public or community hospital they have programs that forgive up to 60 - 70% of your loans based on progressive years of service and it is set up so that this is a tax-free payment to you. I'd also like to see higher employer match for 401K's. It may seem like a lot of money to the hospital, but I know ours is thinking about adding a new patient bed tower and I wonder how they think they are going to staff it if they don't keep the nurses they have left or give great incentives to attract new ones. In any case, I know our competitor's offer and the loss of so many nurses to this hospital has really got the attention of our top executives because we are already critically understaffed and the docs are getting mad because we are having to close units. I really think the time has come for us to do some serious negotiating and be heard. I hope so. I love nursing, and work for a great hospital but chronic understaffing and low pay is getting a little old. I'd love to hear any other ideas shared.

:( I work in a suburban hospital in South Central Texas. I have been hearing about "sign-on incentives" and "referral bonuses" until I could almost be sick!!! I am a pool employee that generally works 24 - 36 hours/week (fulltime is 36 hrs/week). I am paid a hourly wage + shift differential, but DO NOT get any kind of pay increase until they change the "grid". I have 10 yrs ICU experience, but get paid the same as a 1 year grad in the same pool. Retention will never be the name of the game, because they would rather take the chance that all these sign-on bonuses will never materialize because of high turn-over. I love my work (I sure don't do it for the pay and recognition!), but am becoming increasingly disillusioned with the pay scales. :mad:

Let me see, this very issue has recently been debated at my facility. A committee was formed of course. I wasn't asked to be on it, of course. But they did release a nice table with their ideas.

A survey was circulated and completed by most of us. Weekends, holidays, and self scheduling were biggies. As were vacation policy, tuition reimbursement, and did I mention weekends, holidays, and self scheduling?

They will now be offering 100% tuition reimbursement, for anyone that isn't already a nurse the total is about $5200 per year. Doesn't really help retain me because I am already a nurse, so I can only get up to $1500/year. That will pay for one semester of my MSN program however.

Oh, and they will make more committees for input that will never be taken seriously.

An extra half person will be added to the simultaneous vacation scheduling process. I am trying to decide which half of me wants vacation the worst and how the other half will get to work alone. Not to mention, considering the value of being cut in half for purposes of vacation and how I would be put back together on my return.

But my favorite is creating an increased administrative presence on the nursing units. I know that all of you secretly harbor desires for administration to be breathing down your necks while you are trying to get something done, but I win!!

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