After going through the stress of nursing school, no nurse wants to immediately stop providing care for people. Being a nurse is a calling for individuals who take fulfillment in caring and serving others at their lowest point.
However, the attrition rate in nursing does not reflect the previous statement. Nurses aren’t so eager to leave their jobs that they have a tremendous passion for. Rather the job is forcing their hand to make drastic decisions.
The recent exodus of nurses can have severe ramifications on patient care and the overall effectiveness of a healthcare facility. About 100,000 nurses left the workforce during the pandemic, with over 600,000 reporting their intention to leave by 2027, due to stress and burnout as primary reasons.
Continue reading to learn how we can help decrease the attrition rate of nurses, in order to maintain adequate patient care and promote a healthy nursing work environment.
Promote Work-Life Balance and Well-being
Nurses are relied upon by almost every other staff in the hospital/clinical setting. Because of their receptive and helping nature, management, and doctors usually overlook the amount of stress that is placed on nurses.
This highly demanding profession that often involves long shifts, high levels of stress, and exposure to emotionally challenging situations is no wonder the attrition rate keeps climbing. Without proper procedures to combat these factors, our nurses are facing critical circumstances that make it almost impossible to deliver optimal care.
Recognizing the importance of work-life balance and employee well-being can significantly impact nurse retention. Management should implement policies that encourage flexible work schedules, paid time off, and access to physical and mental health resources.
A study published in the Journal of Nursing Management found that nurses who perceived their organization as supportive of work-life balance were more likely to remain in their current positions.
Offer Professional Development Opportunities
A major cause of the nurse attrition rate skyrocketing is nurses not feeling supported by their institutions. To combat this, admins can start investing in the professional growth of their nurses.
The American Nurses Association emphasizes the importance of ongoing professional development and its positive impact on nurse retention.
By providing access to continuing education programs and certifications, management can boost staff commitment to their current positions. This also makes nurses feel valued and empowered.
Recognize and Reward Excellence
Acknowledging nurses’ hard work and accomplishments can boost their morale and aid their emotional rollercoaster of a shift. Management should implement recognition programs that celebrate outstanding performance and dedication to patient care.
Numerous anecdotal data from nurses point to them having high anxiety and stress and this can be attributed to a multitude of reasons. This is especially harmful because it can not only impact patient care but the overall health of the nurse.
Consistently providing positive reinforcement in the form of rewards can create a healthy and positive work culture. This initiative from management shows the amount of care the organization has for its nurses and helps to increase trust between management and staff.
Address Staffing Issues to Decrease The Attrition Rate
Understaffing and low nurse-patient ratios are the most prevalent industry concerns right now. It truly baffles me how some hospitals can even allow this at their facility.
This not only puts patients at risk but the well-being of the nurses. This is a major contributing factor to why so many nurses are experiencing high stress and burnout. Many would argue that this is what caused the initial nursing shortage post-pandemic.
It is essential for management to prioritize adequate staffing levels and ensure that nurses have the resources they need to provide safe and quality care to all patients.
The Bottom Line
In order to cultivate a safe and efficient nursing workforce hospitals and healthcare systems should understand the benefit of investing in their nurses. A healthy work environment leads to less expensive turnover rates.
Implementing professional health services for nurses would be advantageous to limiting the high attrition rate. By executing the strategies mentioned and creating a nurturing work environment, management can develop a dedicated and content nursing workforce.
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No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other licensed clinicians.
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