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The Future of Nursing Retention

Nurses Article   (2,677 Views 27 Replies 825 Words)

Brenda F. Johnson has 27 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Gastrointestinal Nursing.

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There are many reasons why nurses leave the bedside and go into other areas or leave nursing altogether. Some reasons are due to patient level of acuity, long hours, weekends, or lack of schedule flexibility. There are many hospitals that are creative in trying to retain or recruit nurses back to the bedside. However, Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh has come up with an “out of the box” plan to bring nurses back to the bedside. You are reading page 2 of The Future of Nursing Retention. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

benharold1 has 35 years experience as a BSN.

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I just wish more health care systems would explore creative ways to schedule. The 12 hour shift seems like a great idea until you have to work 14-15 hours with no lunch or breaks.  After these shifts I am exhausted for the next two days.  I work two a week but really don't enjoy the crazy long hours and continuous stress.  I am over 50 and I don't think that the needs of older nurses are being considered at all. Sure when I was in my 20's, 30's and even 40's I could handle 12-16 hour shifts, but no anymore.  Everything seems to be set-up for the needs of younger nurses and yet hospitals and other health care facilities need experienced seasoned nurses.  Unfortunately, I am planning on leaving my current position for something less stressful but it is difficult to find work that does not involve 12 hour shifts.

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I think this report has a major flaw.  The question was put to hospitals, what are the top three reasons for nurses leaving your facility.  Nurses may not tell the employer the REAL reason.  It could be that they have a bad manager, they don't pay enough, not supported by administration, or that the work load is impossible to handle. I believe that hospitals don't get the real answer most of the time, for apparent reasons.

The truly smart thing to do is ask nurses why they left and what would have kept them there.  That's how you start to fix this.  Not ask hospitals.  You have got to go to the horses mouth.

Maybe next year huh?

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19 minutes ago, benharold1 said:

I just wish more health care systems would explore creative ways to schedule. The 12 hour shift seems like a great idea until you have to work 14-15 hours with no lunch or breaks.  After these shifts I am exhausted for the next two days.  I work two a week but really don't enjoy the crazy long hours and continuous stress.  I am over 50 and I don't think that the needs of older nurses are being considered at all. Sure when I was in my 20's, 30's and even 40's I could handle 12-16 hour shifts, but no anymore.  Everything seems to be set-up for the needs of younger nurses and yet hospitals and other health care facilities need experienced seasoned nurses.  Unfortunately, I am planning on leaving my current position for something less stressful but it is difficult to find work that does not involve 12 hour shifts.

Yes, that is why I am leaving.  I just can't handle it and if you have a commute on top of it, it just kills me.  That and doing so much of the aides work because the "staffing levels" only allow so much help.  Which of course is not enough.  After two 12 hour shifts, yea, my whole body hurts and my brain is mush.  Takes me 2 days to recover.

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNS and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

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Great discussion with some great solutions. While Allegheny has implemented this program, maybe other hospital systems should look to their own workforce too to better figure out why nurses are leaving. 

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Leader25 has 35 years experience.

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This is so funny,they still do not get it.Instead of this return the nurse plan why not plan for prevent the nurse from leaving in the first place?

I have worked in different areas besides nursing and never was the abuse so prevalent and vicious as in nursing.The supervisors and nurse managers were some of the most abusive,ignorant of bedside care ,staffing.And there is a big elephant in the room.....

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11 hours ago, Leader25 said:

This is so funny,they still do not get it.Instead of this return the nurse plan why not plan for prevent the nurse from leaving in the first place?

 

see my other lengthy reply in this topic about why they have no nurse retention policies. They do get it. They know why. Nurse retention would mean having to play the game with rules, and giving the nurses a voice over their own livelihood. And hospitals hate that. So do nursing homes. So do corporations. They don't have to, because there are always another dozen nurses begging for the job you just left. This was the well planned goal of the nursing shortage hoax. The nursing shortage hoax brought to you by a well planned joint venture involving higher education, bureau of occupational affairs, dept of labor and industry, chambers of commerce, senators/ congress and their lobbyists. 

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On 5/22/2019 at 9:47 AM, panurse9999 said:

Have you ever heard the term "People do not leave jobs, they leave managers?" Its true.

Programs like this would not be necessary if hospitals would take on the pro-active role of nurse retention policies, that either are non-existent , or never followed. On the top of that policy should be a requirement to have a retention conference for every single nurse who submits a resignation, followed by a written letter from the highest level of hospital management , providing a chance to detail, why the nurse is leaving. The retention conference would then be attended by the nurse, a manager, an HR rep, an a person at the highest level of corporate. 

Programs like this would not be necessary if hospitals would stop firing their nursing staff for any reason or no reason

Programs like this would not be necessary if hospitals would finally realize that treating their nursing staff like robotic machines who will churn out more medication, answer more calls, process more orders, take on more roles, be pulled from one floor to the next, will be cancelled on a moments notice, will never get a break, etc...is a guarantee for nurse burnout in 1 year or less

Programs like this would not be necessary if hospitals would get rid of their charting systems which require the nurse to check off all tasks, wether completed or not completed.

Programs like this would not be necessary if hospitals would return to traditional staffing of units where a nurse does not report to central staffing at beginning of shift, rather is hired for, and works on the unit where she was trained. 

Programs like this would not be necessary if nurses were appreciated for their skill and education, without being forced into expensive, useless, online degree mill programs for the sole purpose of enriching higher education

 

I agree with most of what you said, but your repeated refrain that nurses are "encouraged" to keep getting more education because of some kind of vast conspiracy involving anyone and everyone to enrich schools is off base imo. I think it's all about the facilities wanting to create the impression that their staff is more educated than the competition's. It's facility (or corporate in the case of health care systems) IMAGE, and therefore bottom line, that drives this.

Edited by Horseshoe

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3 minutes ago, Horseshoe said:

I agree with most of what you said, but your repeated refrain that nurses are "encouraged" to keep getting more education because of some kind of vast conspiracy to enrich schools is off base imo. I think it's all about the facilities wanting to create the impression that their staff is more educated than the competition's. It's about facility (or corporate in the case of health care systems) IMAGE, and therefore bottom line that drives this.

We're not "encouraged', we're told do it, or get fired. or don't get hired. It has not been a "choice" in my neck of the woods. Its definately an IMAGE thing with hospitals competing for funds, research dollars, and that expensive but worthless "magnet status " title they all want to have. Its also a way to run nurses right into the ground, emotionally and financially.  The more they run us into the ground, the less vocal we will be, because we are always chasing the goal post , while not seeing the forest through the trees. The less vocal we are, the happier the corporate suits are. 

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2 minutes ago, panurse9999 said:

We're not "encouraged', we're told do it, or get fired. or don't get hired. It has not been a "choice" in my neck of the woods. 

Yes, that's why I put encouraged in quotes, to reflect my sarcasm. Otherwise I would have just used the word encouraged without highlighting it.

Edited by Horseshoe

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morelostthanfound has 27 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CVOR, General/Trauma Surgery.

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5 minutes ago, Horseshoe said:

I agree with most of what you said, but your repeated refrain that nurses are "encouraged" to keep getting more education because of some kind of vast conspiracy to enrich schools is off base imo. I think it's all about the facilities wanting to create the impression that their staff is more educated than the competition's. It's about facility (or corporate in the case of health care systems) IMAGE, and therefore bottom line that drives this.

 No, I agree with panurse999- this is just another means of 'raising the bar' to create an additional hurdle that older nurse can't/won't jump.  As an older nurse with 27 years' experience (and a BSN), there is no way I am returning to school for a MSN.  The ROI alone for someone my age is absolutely not worth it and that $ would be much better spent in an existing IRA.  Better though to get rid of the remaining experienced nurses who have given years of loyal service to make way for the new crop of graduate nurses (at a considerably lower salary).  Yah, very proactive thinking-we all know it's solely motivated by the desire to deliver a safer and higher level of care!

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It seems like all these staggered shifts would be a nightmare for scheduling. If they want to improve retention, they should address the main reason for high turnover: nurse to patient ratio. People go in to nursing not only to make a salary, but because they get some kind of fulfillment out of helping people. There are certainly easier ways to make what is really only *decent* money. I'm not speaking to that whole thing about nursing being "a calling," because I think for the most part that is so exaggerated. But I do believe that most nurses feel very good about a day where they were actually able to do their jobs to the best of their ability and know that they make a difference in the world.

But it's impossible to feel fulfilled when you are completely over burdened with a workload that barely enables you to do the minimum, much less your best. The continuing trend of giving nurses more patients, with higher acuity, at the same time they are decreasing the numbers of ancillary staff who are crucial to enabling the nurses to provide safe and effective care is what is causing nurses to leave the profession in droves. They don't need to coax nurses out of retirement, they need to treat the nurses they already have better; they need to hire more of the MANY nurses who can't find jobs in the midst of this alleged "shortage." If they addressed just that one issue-proper staffing-many (if not most) of the problems going on right now would be eliminated.

I got out of the hospital environment years ago because I could see the writing on the wall with regard to staffing and management deliberately stretching their staff in order to increase the bottom line. Back then at least ICUs were NEVER affected by that philosophy, but now I understand that the 2:1 ratio is no longer protected with the ferocity it once was. Some ICU nurses report being tripled or even given FOUR patients when management "can't find anyone" to come in. It's really obscene.

 

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