Nursing Retention: It's a Leadership Thing!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010: 8:30 AM

Marlly Cadavid, MSN, MBA, CCRN
Onboarding & Retention Team - Human Resources, Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, FL

Learning Objective 1: identify nurse manager challenges in retaining direct patient care nurses.

Learning Objective 2: identify strategies to develop and support the nurse manager to better retain and engage direct patient care nurses.

Purpose: Retention is a long standing problem in the nursing workforce yet very little literature yields nurse manager specific data. Nurse leaders are called upon to demonstrate leadership; create atmospheres in which nurses can learn, grow, and contribute in a healthy work environment, and ensure world class, quality health care.  Retention should become a natural outcome of leadership therefore the purpose of this research study is to identify areas of need to assist managers of direct patient care nurses to better retain the direct patient care nurse.
Methods: This study was a qualitative study using focus groups.  For the purpose of this study the nurse manager was defined as a an assistant nurse manager or manager of direct patient care registered nurses at Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF) regardless of tenure as a registered nurse and or nurse manager. Approval was obtained from the BHSF Institutional Review Board (IRB).  The perspective participants were contacted by invitation.  The invitation contained a demographic card and focus group schedule.  One hundred fifty-three invitations were distributed.
Results: A total of 46 out of 153 (30%) nurse managers participated in three focus groups, four hour manager-focused retention workshop titled Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em and a nurse manager Retention Summit. Five themes from the content analysis emerged: Nurse Manager Onboarding, Nurse Manager Development, Nurse Manager Challenges, Retention Challenge, and Retention Strategies.

Conclusion: This research study gave voice to the needs of the nurse manager working with direct patient care registered nurses in a large health care system.  The findings have been used to offer support and development to better retain direct patient care registered nurses.  As a result of this study a nurse manager forum has been established, nurse manager boot camp pilot has been deployed, and a nurse manager mentorship program is being developed.