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- Registered nurse (RN) turnover is an ongoing problem for healthcare organizations.
- Anecdotal evidence suggests that nurse turnover may be rising in U.S. hospitals, as changes in healthcare delivery attract nurses to community-based settings, and as a strengthening economy enables some in the workforce to retire and others to leave the workforce to pursue other interests.
- While healthcare organizations have historically faced high levels of new graduate RN turnover, there are growing concerns about recruiting and retaining experienced nurses.
- In general, RN turnover is considered to be undesirable for healthcare organizations because it is expensive, requires managers to take quick action to meet short- and long-term staffing needs, diverts attention and resources away from other organizational initiatives, and, most importantly, introduces potential compromises in quality of care and patient safety.
- Nurse turnover can also precipitate more turnover, as job opportunities open up in the market, or as nurses leave after losing valued colleagues.
- With the expectation that new graduate RN turnover rates will continue to be a problem, and growing concerns about experienced nurses leaving hospitals for jobs elsewhere, understanding the impact of nurse turnover and what can be done to retain new and experienced nurses is critical.