Nursing

Tips from TSE: Evidence-based orientation brings PA hospital retention results

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, October 16, 2009

Staff development specialists are well aware that the way new employees are oriented to an organization has a significant effect on their job satisfaction and, ultimately, on retention. It is essential that we take this belief and translate it into evidence-based practice.

Sylvia E. Prickitt-White, RN, BSN, MEd, the nursing education/wound care clinical coordinator at Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center, a 140-bed hospital in Lititz, PA, found that orientation was taking more and more of her time. The demand for orientation was linked to the need to hire and orient new nurses on a frequent basis.

As part of her efforts to find a solution, Prickitt-White conducted an extensive literature review on retention and orientation. According to the literature, nurse retention is boosted by initiating a formal program that extends beyond orientation, such as a residency or mentoring program that allows for regular contact with designated peers throughout the first year of employment. Armed with evidence from her literature review, Prickitt-White approached administration and received permission to implement a new program. She designed an extended orientation program that spans the first year of a nurse?s employment.

Editor's note: This excerpt was adapted from the October issue of The Staff Educator. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to The Staff Educator!

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