Inside scoop from our experts: Keep nurses at the bedside

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, December 9, 2008

This week, a reader asks how to improve nurse retention. Read the response from advisor Elise Gropper, PhD, APRN,BC, CPHQ, president of Gropper & Associates, Inc. in Coral Springs, FL.

Q: How can I improve nurse retention?

A: Retaining experienced nurses at the bedside is a pressing concern for many healthcare organizations. And with the New Year right around the corner, start it off on a good note by recognizing and rewarding staff. A strong retention initiative is to create a nursing retention committee that involves staff nurses and managers. With a nursing retention committee, you can explore options such as ways to encourage more staff nurses to become preceptors (a program that could offer an increase in salary or a small bonus) or find ways to keep day shifts to no more than 10 hours. The following are a few more options to reward and recognize staff

  • Paid time off (personal, sick, holidays)
  • Bonus for working the holidays
  • Birthday cards and thank you cards from the CEO or nurse managers
  • Nurse of the month/year awards
  • Dinner or gift cards for nurses with more than 10 years at the facility

Editor’s note: Do you have a question for our experts? If you'd like us to consider your query for publication, please send it to associate editor Cameran Erny at


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