Monday, September 3, 2007

Retaining the New Graduate RN

In the September issue of the American Journal of Nursing, an article on retaining newly licensed RN's stated that, "while the majority of newly licensed registered nurses (RNs) were “generally pleased” with their jobs, the 13% who left their positions within the first year of employment most often cited poor management and stressful working conditions as the top reasons for their departure". These findings, the researchers say could help guide hospitals in their efforts to improve retention rates. The researchers from New York University and the University of Buffalo analyzed survey data from a random sample of 3,266 RNs in 35 states and the District of Columbia who had passed the licensing exam within the past 18 months and had obtained their license between Aug. 1, 2004, and July 31, 2005. The researchers found that newly licensed RNs reported a mean job satisfaction score of 5.2 out of a possible 7 points, although more than 41% said they would want another position if they were “free to go into any type of job.” In addition, nearly one-fourth of respondents said they planned to switch jobs within two years of accepting their first position, and 37% said they planned to seek a new role within one year—statistics the researchers say are “alarming” and indicate that newly licensed RNs are “not finding what they want in the first year of work.” The researchers add that RNs whose first professional degree was an associate’s degree appeared to be more likely than those with a bachelor’s degree to say they intended to leave their current role.Further highlighting the work conditions that may contribute to nurse turnover, more than half of respondents said they had worked voluntary overtime, and nearly 13% said they had worked mandatory overtime. More than 60%, meanwhile, said they had worked night or evening shifts, while roughly one-fourth said they had sustained at least one needle-stick injury across the last year, and more than 60% reported experiencing on-the-job verbal abuse. One of the study authors says the findings indicate that “the work environment for newly licensed RNs has both positive and negative aspects.” Noting that their future research will aim to develop predictive models of newly licensed RNs’ turnover rates, the researchers conclude that hospitals should invest in “better orientation and management of newly licensed RNs” in an effort to ensure long-term retention (Kovner et al., American Journal of Nursing, September 2007; American Journal of Nursing release, 8/29; University of Buffalo release, 8/29).

59 comments:

dchristiansen said...

Linda, your blog is incredibly helpful. Nursing programs are expanding which means a larger pool of new grads. I'm glad you're spotlighting the importance of supporting and retaining these new nurses.

Peter said...

I am looking at the shortage of nurses in Australia and New Zealand.

It is a world wide trend from what I have seen. In Australia the burden of student fees and work related stress in not helping.

Countries poach nurses from anywhere in order to help. I see no early resolution and the only hope is to cut student fees down to nothing.

God help nurses and patients because local governments refuse to go anything about it.

It is only with the help of sites like this that people will truely find out what is going on.

Linda's Blog said...

Peter,
Thank you for your valuable comments. We all need to keep this important issue in the forfront, especially at the executive level in our hospitals and with our elected officials.

Philippine said...

Enjoy your articles. Keep it up Linda. I have also a nurse blog that i would like to share to you. http://NurseReview.org

philippine_nurses said...

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Janet said...

Hi, Linda...I am a new grad RN and not yet employed since graduation in May. I am feeling really discouraged right now and I am wondering if anyone reading this knows how to break in to this field---a second career for me---as a brand new nurse? I am beginning to think I made a mistake going to school in the first place.

An uninformed opinion on your report on new grad retention: there just aren't enough programs out there to train us, so I guess the hospitals shouldn't expect to retain us! I would give almost anything to be in a sort of "apprentice" postion to an experienced nurse who could "hand the care" on to me...

Thanks for caring about the shortage...there are many of us "out here" ready to help, but it seems that no one wants us...UGH!

Janet
Boston area

Linda's Blog said...

Oh Janet, Please don't be discouraged! There are some excellent preceptor/mentor programs in the Boston area. Contact HR Departments at the Boston teaching hospitals and set up informational interviews. Attend upcoming Open Houses and Job Fairs and come prepared with a list of questions regarding mentor programs for new grads. Do a Goggle search, there was a program highlighted a few months back in one of the larger Boston newspapers that is well worth researching and reading. Advances Magazine and Nursing Spectrum highlight job fairs and you can subscribe to them for free! Please be persistant, your efforts will pay off and your professional colleagues will be appreciative. Best of Luck./ LB

Janet said...

Thanks, Linda...Actually, a new invitation for an interview came "out of the blue" today and I am very excited. Youa re right: there has to be something "out there" for me and other new grads, even if it takes longer than we expected.

I am so glad I found this blog! Your encouragement is much appreciated!

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