March 20, 2023
Response by Karen G. Speroni to OJIN topic “Professional Pathways in Nursing: Options to Seek, Start, and Sustain a Career” (September 30, 2008).
Attracting and retaining nurses is a foundational anchor for nursing excellence and the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet program (ANCC, 2023). In an endemic healthcare work environment, recruiting and retaining nurses is a greater challenge, especially for nurses new to the profession, a role, or an organization. New nurses presumably have differing views, perceptions, and needs than nurses who are not new to the profession, their role, or the organization. The key is to capture these needs through a structured process, ideally to facilitate satisfaction and engagement.
One strategy to consider as part of professional nursing governance is a New Nurse Council (NNC). Professional nursing governance bylaws/charters could be updated to include the NNC. This promoted alignment of nursing strategic and organizational goals with the strategic purposes new nurses have identified for the NNC. With any group of new nurses varying purposes may arise. These may include access to resources, information, educational needs, access to nursing leaders, staffing, breaks, and healthy work environment. Whatever the purpose may be, the NNC can facilitate real-time identification, discussion, and problem-solving by the group along with a facilitator who is in a position that can effect change. Documenting and prioritizing issues that are most relevant to be addressed could be done quarterly. Inviting nurse leaders to attend quarterly meetings could facilitate the next steps, including providing needed resources.
Evaluation of the NCC on retention over time would make a great research study! Consider additional strategies to attract and engage new nurses and research outcomes of interventions implemented. Evidence-based strategies are key. Bring on your effective evidence-based new nurse retention strategies.
Karen Gabel Speroni, PhD, RN, BSN, MHSA
Nursing Research and Excellence Consultant, Karen Gabel Speroni Consultation, LLC
American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). (2023). Magnet recognition pathway. Organizational Programs. https://www.nursingworld.org/organizational-programs/magnet/