It's important from an HR perspective that hospitals invest in maintaining and managing a good workforce, says Shebani Patel, a Director within PwC's Saratoga Group, who oversaw the collection of data for this hospital sector report. "They do that by having strong quality of hire," she says. Quality of hire, as measured by PwC's report, is the rate of first year turnover. Measuring this rate is a good indicator of an organization's effectiveness in hiring, orientation, and assimilation strategies, says the PwC report.
Melissa Knybel, RN, BSN and Director of Operations at Randstad Healthcare agrees. "That one year of experience is a very key indicator, because once you have that one year of hospital-based experience under your belt, you literally are employable by so many other employers," she says.
The economy, while it was weaker over the past few years, contributed to steadier retention levels. As it has strengthened, and job growth has recovered, experts are crediting part of higher turnover rates to an increase in the confidence of the healthcare workforce.
"People are wondering, 'Am I at the right place?'" says Patel. "There's nothing better than a little change in the economy to give people that boost, that feeling that, 'OK, I can consider what other opportunities are around.'"
The first year of service turnover rate for nurses (22.2%) is not surprising because of the standard experience of a first-year nurse, says Knybel. "They're at the bottom of the totem pole, usually working the night shift, or they don't have the number of hours they were hoping for."