Hospitals can prepare for the increase in demand and potential loss of experienced nurses by focusing on ensuring the organization has a healthy workplace environment and stays attractive to existing staff and future job seekers.
Take a look at your workplace demographics and get an idea of what proportion of your RN workforce is likely to be considering retirement as the economy picks up.
If you're not already paying attention to succession planning, it's time to start doing so. The looming retirement of baby boomers means a whole generation of seasoned managers will soon be leaving the workforce. Make sure the next generation is being prepared with leadership training classes and management experience now.
It's also a good time to look at your latest nurse satisfaction survey and find out what your nurses' priorities are. Haven't done a satisfaction survey lately? What are you waiting for? Even in a down economy, don't neglect this crucial area through fears your staff will eviscerate you for stagnant wages and budget cuts. What keeps nurses satisfied are not annual raises and shift differentials. Most surveys reveal that nurses rank positive working environments, good relationships with managers, being recognized and thanked for their hard work and opportunities for professional development far more highly than money.