Essay on High Nurse Turnover Rates And The Negative Impact On Healthcare

Essay on High Nurse Turnover Rates And The Negative Impact On Healthcare

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The nursing workforce is particularly challenged when it comes to retaining high quality nurses in the profession. This issue is relevant to new and seasoned nurses alike. There are senior nurses experiencing burnout intending to leave the workforce before retirement age and new nurses leaving the profession prematurely, creating too much nurse turnover. When turnover takes place unexpectedly and prior to retirement, the collective effect is financially and socially detrimental to the nursing profession and healthcare institutions. High nurse turnover can influence a healthcare organization’s ability to provide quality patient care and accomplish the best possible patient outcomes (Hayes et al., 2006). Investigating the sources of high nurse turnover rates and the negative impact on healthcare will bring greater understanding to this nursing workforce issue.
In addition to the loss to the profession there is a significant financial cost associated with high nurse turnover rates. Data on the cost of nurse turnover to an institution, per nurse, is approximately $82,000 to fill a vacancy with a more experienced nurse requiring less training and approximately $88,000 to fill a vacancy with a newer nurse who requires more orientation (Jones, 2008). On a system-wide level, institutions lose a fair amount of money related to nurse turnover alone. According to Kovner, Brewer, Fatehi and Jun (2014), an acute care hospital containing 600 beds approximated cost to the institution to be 5.9 to 6.4 million dollars per year from RN turnover.
Nurse burnout and stress are major contributors to nurses leaving the profession. Burnout is insidious physical and emotional exhaustion and it often manifests itself as cynicism toward the profession and ...


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The goal of this critical review is to learn about significant causes and results of high nurse turnover rates within healthcare institutions and in the nursing workforce overall. High turnover rates create a financial burden to institutions and lessen the strength of the workplace environment. High amounts of new nurse turnover in hospitals continue to be a problem. As a result, institutions are researching and implementing mentorship programs that pair more experienced nurses with new nurses as well as re-structuring new hire orientation to promote retention. The persistent culprit of high turnover rates among RNs continues to be burnout. Research on the causes of burnout and ways to mitigate it are continually important as this problem persists. Therefore the purpose of this critical review is to understand this nursing workforce issue.

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