To make it more challenging, they're usually not working in the unit they would ideally want to be placed in. This is where HR can really step in and make the difference, she says.
"What I think the greatest opportunity for hospitals and hospital managers to improve upon is the engagement factor of the employees," says Knybel. While Knybel says the orientation and onboarding processes are critical to getting the nurse engaged with the values and culture of the organization, after that is when you risk losing the new employee.
"Suddenly after all that love and attention, everything is dropped and you're off on your own, there's no more orientation, you're on the night shift, and it's like, 'Go. Do it,'" says Knybel. "There's no follow up."
Nurses often don't see much of their managers. If they're working night shifts, or simply have opposite hours than the nurse managers, when is that engagement supposed to take place? Even then, nurse managers can often be excellent clinicians, but perhaps they are lacking the management skills to handle some of the personnel issues that might arise. HR can fill in this gap.
According to Patel at PwC Saratoga, the role of HR in healthcare is shifting from "a transactional provider" who handles hiring, paying, and exiting the staff to a role that should permeate more nuanced areas of the employees' experience at the hospital.
A glimpse into a successful level of engagement is where a high volume of hires are young and in their first year of professional work is an academic medical center.