Academic-Practice Partnership: A Strategy to Increase New Graduate Nurse Retention

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Elizabeth Sims, MSN, BSN
Nursing Administration, Community Health Network, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to begin to evaluate the effectiveness of the Nursing Academy, an innovative academic-practice partnership model for the teaching, training and preparation of baccalaureate nursing students as a strategy to increase new graduate nurse retention rates.

Framework: Job Embeddedness theory proposes that individuals who are positively enmeshed or embedded are highly predicted to remain in their work role positions. The underlying assumption is when employees feel attached to a company they become embedded into the environment or its social web which enhances the employee’s desire to stay with the company (Mitchell, et al. 2001). Job Embeddedness theory illustrates that the more embedded an employee is in both the work setting and the community, the more likely they will remain at the current job (Reitz, 2011; Holtom & O’Neill, 2004; Mitchell et al. 2001).

Method: New graduate nurses who participated in the Nursing Academy, will be asked to complete an electronic survey at a minimum of six months and at a minimum of twelve months from starting their first registered nurse positions. The survey will assess self-perceptions of Job Embeddedness as a predictor for retention. One year employment data obtained for Human Resources will be compared to the Job Embeddedness self-perception scores. The higher the Job Embeddedness score the greater the likelihood of continued employment, otherwise known as retention rate.

Findings: In December, 2016 after completing a minimum of six months of registered nurse employment, Job Embeddedness surveys were electronically sent to thirteen employed Nursing Academy graduates. As of December 2016, according to Human Resource data, 100% of the hired Nursing Academy new graduate nurses remained employed. Following a minimum of twelve months of registered nurse employment, repeat surveys will be sent in May-August 2017 and compared to Human Resource retention data for that same timeframe. A comprehensive analysis will be performed following the completion of the repeat survey.

Implications/Conclusions: Due to stressful work environments and inadequate support during the transition from student to professional practice, new graduate nurse turnover rates are high resulting in increased costs for healthcare organizations and an increased risk for compromised patient care (NSI, 2016 Foster et al. 2012, Hill 2010, Jones & Gates 2007). Among nursing leaders, developing and implementing strategic interventions which positively impact retention rates of new graduate nurses is a key workforce planning initiative. More concentrated efforts to meet the high demand for this valuable professional asset are both necessary and achievable through innovative collaborative academic-practice partnerships. The Nursing Academy is an ideal platform to “embed” the nursing student to an organization and the community with the intent to retain the nursing student as a new graduate nurse through the first year of employment.