"With this economy, what we have experienced is a nurse gets an offer they are going to take it. But if there is a lot of competition in the area, they are going to take the job to get the experience and then jump at the next best offer," Patel says.
PwC Saratoga found that first-year nursing turnover can run as high as 60% in some of the 40 healthcare systems that participate in its Human Capital Effectiveness Benchmarking Report. The median first-year turnover was 17.1% for the report's "best practices" health systems, and PwC Saratoga interviewed them to find a common theme for their relatively successful nurse retention.
1. Schedule competency-based interview processes/selection testing that includes cultural fit.
Best practice hospitals use competency-based interviews/selection testing based on a standard set of questions to identify qualities and skills. One system grades "B" or "C" level candidates for certain roles but must hire only "A" candidates for others. These systems have found a correlation between those who meet the requirements of the upfront selection process and lower turnover.
Successful health systems also are increasingly aware of the importance of creating a good fit along cultural and ethical lines. The candidate assessment includes behavioral questions and bringing other nurses in for a team interview. One system job shadows during the interview to give candidates a firsthand view of the work environment and culture.