September 25, 2017

Strategies for retaining, recruiting mature experienced nurses

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

No single key retention strategy solves the issue of keeping older nurses in the workplace but, rather, a multifaceted approach is necessary, this study finds.

An exploratory study was conducted at a 730-bed teaching hospital in northeast Ohio using four focus groups of staff nurses−three groups consisted of nurses aged 46 to 73 years, and one group ranged in age from 22 to 29 years. Nurses selected for the study represented each area of the healthcare system.


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Four major themes emerged: The worth of older nurses; generational issues; roles for the aging nurse; and ways to support the aging nurse.

A number of initiates were and are currently being undertaken, including:

  • expanded roles for retiring nurses
  • environmental and equipment concerns
  • determining perks and benefits for younger nurses
  • education for older nurses returning to the workforce or transitioning into new roles
  • development of volunteer roles for retired nurses and volunteer services to provide support to staff nurses
  • examining and streamlining processes of care and technology
  • creating an educational menu of benefits and pay to assist retired personnel in making return-to-work decisions.

The retention strategies have already begun to show a positive effect, the authors say.

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