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Tom Sharon
Number of resigned nurses vs. the number of new hires


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Nurse Recruitment and Retention

Pertaining to nursing employment, the adequacy of this workforce is the single most influential determinant of your safety and welfare or that of your loved one. Although this chapter is entirely devoted to this crucial topic, I must include the general impact of nurse staffing as a vital part of the tool kit for your overall hospital evaluation.

It is important to ask anyone of the directors in the nursing office about the recruitment and retention program because there is a nationwide shortage in the human pool of hospital nurses. In some areas, the scarcity is critical. The statistics are easy to evaluate-compare the number of nurses who resigned over the last quarter with the number of new hires for general nursing and for each specialty. If the former is greater, you will need to know what the board of directors, CEO, and vice president of nursing services are doing about it. The most logical solution is to recruit from English-speaking foreign countries. If your hospital is not doing this, then the decision makers are obliged to explain what alternative measures are in place because if they are doing nothing, then the number of available nurses is shrinking. In that case, you can inevitably count on sharing one nurse with forty other patients. When you next visit the hospital (hopefully not as a patient), see how long it takes the nurse to answer a call for help. If your facility is not hiring at least as many nurses as are quitting every week, you can expect to triple the average response time in three or four months. Furthermore, the more the remaining nurses become overworked and exhausted, the more the attrition accelerates. As for the solution - nothing works better than a delegation of concerned citizens and a local politician demanding an answer from hospital administration as to what steps they are taking to resolve this dilemma.

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