The High Cost of Nursing Turnover
According to the 2022 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report, the nursing turnover rate in the United States has risen to 27.1%. “The average cost of turnover for a bedside RN is $46,100 resulting in the average hospital losing between $5.2m – $9.0m. Each percent change in RN turnover will cost/save the average hospital an additional $262,300/yr.”1
Health care organizations across the country are searching for ways to reduce turnover and attract clinically competent nurses. Some hospitals are revamping their onboarding programs to improve engagement, create supportive work environments, and foster teamwork. So how’s it going?
How to Build a Successful Onboarding Program
Retooling an outdated onboarding program is a great place to start. One urban hospital2 implemented a 10-element evidence-based onboarding program to help new employees successfully assimilate into the organization’s culture, a critical element in retaining qualified staff. The evidence shows that “new-hire employees were 58% more likely to remain employed at 3 years’ post-hire if they participated in a structured onboarding process.”3 This new program focused heavily on communication and developing relationships. They used consistent onboarding checklists across the organization and implemented stay interviews to support newly hired employees.
Was the new program successful? Well, yes and no. In the first year, overall turnover across the hospital decreased from 18.2% to 11.9%. New-hire turnover decreased from 39.1% to 18.4%. Total RN new-hire turnover decreased from 31.9% to 12.4%. In addition, the hospital saw a 28% decrease in Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI), a 40% decrease in Surgical Site infections, and staff injuries went down by 8%. But it didn’t last. The following year saw a 57% increase in turnover by staff who said that they had quit to go work somewhere else.
Digitize to Maximize Time and Effort
So what happened? The program was great in theory but it put more work and administrative burden on everyone. There were too many paper checklists to keep track of and spreadsheets to update. Hiring managers used folders full of toolkits and evaluation forms which needed to be extrapolated and loaded into outdated statistical analysis software. And even though hospital leadership supported the new program, they ultimately prioritized hospital expansion, reimbursement, and compliance issues above their organization’s workforce needs. No wonder their turnover rate skyrocketed!
Don’t let this happen at your hospital. Let Xapimed help! Our platform was created using best practices from nursing professional guidelines (ANPD, ANCC) and theoretical frameworks (Benner, Wright). We’ve digitized the skills checklist, computerized the onboarding process, and simplified competency management. All in the palm of your hand. Keep the things you love about your recruitment, retention, onboarding, and professional development programs and lose the paper! Easily audit clinical outcomes quickly and accurately. Compliance is a breeze using our data analytics – the reports you want can automatically come straight to your inbox and be viewed across the entire organization. Invest in your workforce today and for the future. Contact us today to find out more!
2 Kurnat-Thoma, E. (2017). Reducing Annual Hospital and Registered Nurse Staff Turnover-A 10-Element Onboarding Program Intervention. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316211714_Reducing_Annual_Hospital_and_Registered_Nurse_Staff_Turnover-A_10-Element_Onboarding_Program_Intervention
3 Maurer, R. (2015). Onboarding key to retaining, engaging talent. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/onboarding-key-retaining-engaging-talent.aspx