2. Build relationships with nursing schools and a robust nurse resident program.
Hospitals with nurse resident programs swear by them. Nurses hired from these programs are generally strong performers because the systems assess their clinical performance before hiring them. These nurses are also less likely to leave because they are familiar with the culture. One health system fills most of its nursing slots from its nurse resident program, which pays for participants' tuition. The program begins after the first quarter of school and offers flexible hours. New nurses attend orientation and are partnered with preceptors. Another system offers outreach to nursing graduates, including a forum for nurse graduates to network and stay connected as they look for jobs. The system beats competitors by strengthening its pipeline of potential candidates and developing its employer brand.
3. Conduct extensive orientation followed by employee feedback.
New nurses are encouraged to maintain contact with and provide feedback to human resources staff through orientation programs that last up to a full year. Orientation may be customized by department/unit, and touch points typically occur after 30/45 and 90 days, six months, and a year. One system offers a week of orientation and follow-up with the same group of employees at 45 days and 90 days. At 45 days, nurses complete a satisfaction questionnaire. Another system conducts "re-interviews" at three and 10 months to ensure nurse satisfaction and fit. One system hosts reunions for recent hires at four months and a year and offers off-site retreats by nursing unit. Another system has recent hires lunch with the hospital president after one month and one year.
4. Implement new hire support programs.
Systems link new nurses to non-supervisor "buddies" who provide confidential support and guidance. One system offers a nurse retention contact on HR staff who provides a "safe haven" where employees can air concerns.