The world of healthcare is facing a crisis that demands immediate attention and innovative solutions. The persistent nursing shortage, both in the United States and across the globe, is not only straining the healthcare system but also jeopardizing the quality of patient care. As many organizations search for new recruitment strategies, it is also imperative to focus on employee retention.
According to a recent Medical Solutions survey, a significant number of permanent nurses are contemplating a shift toward travel nursing or leaving the profession altogether.
In the survey, which polled permanent nurses throughout the US, respondents identified four factors that would entice them to stay in nursing.
Adequate Compensation: The Pillar of Value
An overwhelming 83% of permanent clinicians who were considering quitting expressed that an increase in salary stands as the most compelling incentive to keep them engaged in their profession. This statistic underscores the importance of valuing nurses for their dedication and invaluable contributions to patient care. We recognize that financial investments are often short-lived, but it is important to ensure that your pay practices align with others in your area and statewide; you must evaluate this at least yearly.
It is also important to note that pay alone is not always enough to retain disengaged talent. A recent Gallup analysis revealed that engaged employees would need a 31% pay increase to switch jobs, while less engaged employees would only seek a 22% increase. This is why it is necessary to also consider the factors below in combination with earnings.
Battling Burnout: A Need for Holistic Support
The survey also delves into the issue of stress and burnout, which has become a pervasive problem in the nursing profession. According to a Medical Solution’s survey, a staggering 66% of nurses considering new opportunities and 52% of those contemplating a transition to travel nursing cited excessive stress and burnout as a significant concern. This sentiment was echoed by 49% of permanent clinicians overall.
Holistic support systems that prioritize mental and emotional well-being are essential to the long-term retention of nurses. Healthcare organizations must invest in initiatives that reduce burnout, enhance resilience, and promote a healthy work-life balance. An assessment of what is important to your nursing team is essential to build this into your strategic plans to care for your caregivers. Understanding the stressors is the first place to start tackling the burnout strategy.
Strengthening Workforce: A Collaborative Effort
Equally significant is the plea for more hands on deck. Nearly half of respondents considering leaving the procession, 45%, expressed that an increase in staffing levels to alleviate workloads would incentivize them to stay. We have found most activities registered nurses complete daily in acute care do not require a registered nursing degree. How you support your RNs with ancillary support to manage those duties as a team is crucial. By ensuring a manageable workload and appropriate support, institutions can empower nurses to practice at the top of their license and provide the care they are capable of delivering. Adequate staffing is not a luxury but a necessity.
Recognizing Excellence: Fostering a Culture of Appreciation
One of the most striking revelations from the survey is that a mere 26% of respondents seeking new opportunities or considering travel nursing believe their hard work is adequately recognized. Acknowledgment is not just a matter of morale; it is a validation of the tireless dedication that nurses bring to their roles each day. By recognizing nurses’ efforts, institutions can foster a sense of belonging and pride that will translate into enhanced performance and loyalty.
The nursing shortage represents not only a challenge but also an opportunity for transformation. It calls upon healthcare organizations to reflect on their current practices, reassess their priorities, and implement measures to attract and retain nurses and elevate the quality of patient care.
By embracing the pillars of fair compensation, holistic well-being, collaborative teamwork and genuine recognition, we can overcome the nursing shortage and pave the way for more resilient and compassionate healthcare systems in the future.