Improving Nurse Retention in Acute Care Setting

Monday, 30 October 2017

Brittney Armstrong, DNP
School of Nursing, Troy University, Dothan, AL, USA
Shellye A. Vardaman, PhD
School of Nursing, Troy University, Troy, AL, USA
Stephanie L. Lewis, PhD
School of Nursing, Troy University - Phenix City, Phenix City, AL, USA

Globally, there is an extensive nursing shortage and an increased rate of nursing turnover. This shortage and turnover can cause an undesirable effect on the healthcare community. The large turnover rate causes a substantial financial burden on the healthcare facility. Administrators calculate a cost of $42,000 to $64,000 to replace each Registered Nurse who resigns from their position (Buffington, et al., 2012). It has been projected, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), that nursing will have one of the largest occupational field growths, of 19 percent, by the year 2022.

Nurse turnover is an undesirable trend for healthcare facilities, especially in the midst of a critical shortage of nurses. Patient outcomes, safety and satisfaction are just of few of the variables that can be greatly impacted by nurse turnover (Nei, Snyder, & Litwiller, 2015). Although there are many issues that influence nurse turnover, one that is noted quite frequently is job satisfaction within the work environment (Lavoie-Tremblay, Paquet, Marchionni, & Drevniok, 2011). There are many aspects that factor into job satisfaction for the nurse, flexibility with scheduling, salary, benefits, praise and recognition.

Due to this disturbing trend, improving nurse retention was the focus of the synthesis project, specifically related to scheduling mechanisms. Self-scheduling is a form of flexible scheduling that is viewed as a strategy to improve the nurse’s work and home life. The study took place in a regional healthcare facility in southeast Alabama. A convenience sample of staff nurses from three patient care units were given the opportunity to participate in the project. The staff nurses completed a demographic questionnaire, and two subscales of the McCloskey/Mueller Satisfaction Scale (MMSS) prior to beginning the intervention of self-scheduling. The staff completed the self-schedule, worked the schedule, and then completed the MMSS post-survey. Data continues to be collected and analyzed at this time.