Ready to Reduce Nursing Turnover? Let’s Start With Your Recruitment Strategy.

The cost of replacing one nurse can range from $36,900 to $57,300, according to That’s one of the best arguments we can think of for making sure there isn’t a revolving door in your healthcare recruiting efforts. In addition to the high cost of nurse replacement, high staff turnover is a huge red flag for an unhealthy organizational culture. The pressure felt by those remaining on the team often escalates when a nurse leaves; and that only increases the chance you will lose team members to what they perceive as a less stressful job.

Healthcare organizations may also have to bear the burden of increased overtime pay or use traveling nurses to fill staffing gaps caused by excessive turnovers.

Interestingly, it is often at the very front end of the hiring process where we fall down in our efforts at nurse retention. Analyzing and then changing up your recruiting strategy could help you retain nurses longer. Use the following advice to reduce nursing turnover.

Changing How We Recruit Nurses

“Reducing nursing turnover and improving nurse retention is a complex topic, but one that is fraught with opportunities to change the trajectory and improve retention. It’s important to recognize that there is no one magic bullet to reducing nursing turnover.”

Lori Burt
Vice President of Talent Management, University of Maryland Medical Center

While the truth is that changing your recruiting efforts will not stop nursing turnover, it will certainly help. There are numerous ways to assess the fit of a nurse for the role they are entering, including pre-employment assessments and peer interviews with existing teams. Find out what motivates that employee during the recruitment process and then try to provide that motivation on the job.

If you’re using a recruiting firm, make it a true partnership by engaging with recruiters to help them understand the culture they’re hiring into. Is the recruiting firm appropriately branding their efforts, and are they hiring for culture fit as much as on-the-job skills?

New hires should become acclimatized and part of a team as quickly as possible. Studies show employees stay longer if they have friends at work. Make sure new employees have a mentor whose job it is to work on the intangible cultural fits that happen in the office, as well as helping the nurse with on-the-job clinical learning. Orientation is a crucial part of this acclimatization process. suggests that, in the same way healthcare organizations are focusing on patient experience, they should also focus on the employee experience. Having a 90-day review focused not only on performance but also on how the employee is fitting in culturally can help a healthcare provider apply checks and balances that may help them retain nurses longer.

Above all, avoid overselling the role. Make sure new nurses understand upfront what the job requirements will be as well as the pitfalls. If the organization is high stress, talk about it so the nurse understands the risks and rewards of coming on board.

Working closely with the healthcare organization, National Recruiters efforts to retain employees’ starts from the first interview. We closely partner with our healthcare clients to ensure a better mix of candidates with the right cultural and clinical skills to benefit your team. Contact our healthcare recruiters today.

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