Mona Karnes is nurse manager of labor and delivery at a suburban hospital. Over the past 12 months, the voluntary turnover rate among full-time RNs has been 15 percent for her unit and 25 percent for the hospital as a whole. Despite increasing starting salary rates and offering signing bonuses, turnover rates have remained high. Administration is in the process of conducting an annual salary review as well as a benefits review. Mona has collected information from exit interviews conducted by the human resources department. From these data, Mona has developed three strategies to aid in retention for her unit: 1. Rotate leadership responsibilities on the unit to offer all nurses the opportunity to develop leadership and management skills. These responsibilities currently include a weekly charge nurse role for each shift, education committee chair, physician relations liaison, women’s health service line representative, and information technology representative. Other leadership roles will be added as appropriate. 2. Survey staff to determine interests and strengths and connect staff members with a mentor. For example, Debbie Edwards, RN, enjoys developing patient education modules. Debbie will work with Heather Adams, new nurse graduate, to develop Heather’s patient education skills. 3. Schedule free monthly CEU offerings during staff meetings that are presented by staff members, physicians, or pharmaceutical company representatives. By attending monthly staff meetings, most RNs will complete 90 percent of state-required CEUs for license renewal. All three strategies are at no cost to the unit or hospital. After six months, the voluntary turnover rate on Mona’s unit has decreased to 8 percent.
The nurse manager is responsible for:
● Understanding the financial impact of voluntary turnover on the unit and the organization
● Gathering and analyzing data that provide insight into the reasons for voluntary turnover
● Utilizing creative solutions to increase staff retention
● Establishing open and effective communication with staff members
● Evaluating retention strategies in a timely manner and adjusting processes as appropriate
● Communicating successful strategies to colleagues and administration