staff retention

Nursing Home Staff Retention Tips

Social Title: Strategies For Retaining Nursing Home Personnel

Social Description: Retaining staff is one of the main challenges of running a nursing home. Find out how you can reduce turnover rates among care personnel.

Maintaining a full staff is a constant challenge for many nursing homes. High turnover rates can result in inadequate staffing, placing a heavy burden on a facility’s nursing home liability insurance. Here we take a look at some of the issues that could affect nursing staff retention and how to address them.

High turnover rates in nursing homes

Longevity is somewhat rare among nursing care personnel. In other industries, it isn’t uncommon for workers to remain with the same company for several years. Some even stay with a single firm throughout their entire careers.

This is rarely the case in the nursing and caregiving professions. Nicholas G. Castle, a professor at West Virginia University, estimates that as many as 40% of all employed nurses leave for other organizations after only a short time. For certified nursing assistants (CNAs), the turnover rate is closer to 45%.

The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), an association established to benefit long-term care providers, supports these findings. In a recent report, the organization revealed that about 25% of all nursing assistants surveyed were currently looking for jobs in another firm. Among home caregivers, 20% were actively looking for other jobs.

Reasons for high turnover rates

What is the reason for such high turnover rates? Why is the nursing care industry in particular so prone to frequent resignations?

Conditions vary depending on various factors, including conditions at the facility, the state of the job market, and personal circumstances. But some common reasons why nurses and caregivers don’t stay with one company very long are:

  • Disappointment at being unable to provide the care their patients deserve
  • Dissatisfaction with management and senior coworkers
  • Desire to work in an established for-profit company
  • Inability to manage the workload
  • Issues with coworkers, management, or company policy
  • Feelings of being undervalued

It’s common for nurses to be disappointed in themselves for their perceived inability to provide the quality of care they feel their patients deserve. Believe it or not, many caregivers are devoted to their jobs and feel a strong sense of duty in caring for their patients. So if they are unable to perform their obligations to the degree that they demand of themselves, they may become disillusioned and resign.

Some nurses may become discouraged by managers and supervisors that show dissatisfaction in their jobs. If upper and middle managers display poor professional attitudes, nurses under them may feel that their efforts are futile. Consequently, they may be driven to seek work environments where they feel they can contribute to a worthier cause.

How retaining staff benefits nursing homes

Nursing care facilities can benefit considerably from improving retention rates. Caregivers who work for years in the same facility develop the ability to work efficiently, performing their tasks at a consistently high level. This invariably results in better quality care delivered to patients.

Longtime workers also gain considerable skills and knowledge that would take new nurses many years to learn. And considering the time and expense required to train, orient, and onboard new caregivers, retaining experienced and qualified workers makes more sense from a financial standpoint.

It is also worth noting that most patients‒especially the elderly‒tend to be more trusting and cooperative with care personnel they know and are familiar with. Given the nurse-patient trust and rapport that develops over time, nursing home residents generally benefit from a nursing home environment with high retention rates.

Tips for ensuring the retention of nursing home staff

There are many ways to improve retention rates among nursing home staff and caregivers. While these suggestions may not be equally effective in all work settings, they can generally help ensure better retention rates and reduce turnovers.

Improve the hiring process

The hiring process plays a crucial role in ensuring nurse retention. Preference should be given to applicants that are fully committed to their positions. These candidates are less likely to move from job to job in search of higher pay.

Provide opportunities for advancement

No one wants to work in a dead-end job with no advancement prospects. Nursing home administrators should develop a feasible career path that gives qualified workers opportunities for upward mobility and career progress.

Strive for adequate staffing

Understaffed nursing homes are often plagued by quick turnover rates. Facilities should constantly strive to maintain a workforce that can handle the workload adequately to avoid staff burnout and overwork.

Value your employees

Finally, managers and supervisors should always treat their workers with respect and communicate how much their work is valued. Making nursing staff feel that they are valued contributors to the organization will help ensure better job satisfaction.

About Midwest Insurance Group

Midwest Insurance Group is a risk retention group developed by Caitlin Morgan Insurance Services in response to the unique needs of the healthcare industry, particularly that of senior living facilities. With rising premium costs and difficulties in obtaining coverage from the traditional professional and general liability insurance market, Midwest Insurance Group represents a viable, long-term insurance alternative for the senior living sector, giving members complete control over costs and claims management. Midwest Insurance Group is reinsured with Lloyd’s of London, and A rated by Demotech.

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