Improving Nurse Retention Strategies in the Pediatric Setting
The increase in the patient-nurse ratio has caused a significant increase in the number of nurses who chose to leave their professions. The rising ratio, unfortunately, causes burnout among the nurses, which also leads to job dissatisfaction and, thus, increased nurse turnover. Consequently, many healthcare facilities are struggling to find the ways of improving their strategies for motivating nurses to ensure that they retain them to guarantee the delivery of quality and affordable health services. Pediatric settings have children who do not have strong immune systems to defend themselves against various diseases, thus such children are in need of close monitoring. Therefore, enhancing nurse retention in such settings can warrant the improved healthcare services for the children. This paper provides an executive summary of the program that aims to improve nurse retention strategies in the pediatric setting, focusing on its purpose, target population, its benefits, budget justification and, finally, it explains the basis for evaluating the program.
Purpose of the Program
This program aims to improve the attitudes of nurses working in the pediatric setting with the goal of retaining them for long-term service. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], nurses form the largest percentage of healthcare professionals that provide services in hospitals, particularly, in the primary healthcare settings. In spite of that, the nurses often do not meet the demands of the population due to their shortage. Sekol & Kim contend that nursing shortage has a significant effect on various departments, including the pediatric settings. Eventually, it compromises the quality of service delivery and causes job dissatisfaction among the nurses. The nurses then opt to change their careers or quit the settings, leading to the increased nurse turnover among nurses in pediatric settings. Therefore, this program targets the pediatric nurses by ensuring that they get incentives, participate in leadership activities through delegation and, finally, it is necessary to make sure that they get a chance to be promoted. Most importantly, this program will ensure a proper and efficient chain of command in the pediatric setting, which will help in meeting the needs of nurses and, thus, retaining them.
The target populations for this program include the children getting nursing care in the pediatric setting of the hospital, their parents, and the nurses that care for the children. When children are presented to the pediatric settings, their symptoms change rapidly and can result in adverse complications. For instance, Hobson & Chima explain that children who are experiencing hypovolemic shock due to illnesses, such as diarrhea, for example, should receive immediate nursing care, since they can die within a short time span during the disease process. Sekol & Kim argue that nurses play a significant role in monitoring such symptoms in the pediatric settings; they ensure that the children recover from the symptoms and stay free from all kinds of complications. Therefore, aiming to improve the job satisfaction among the pediatric nurses can result in retention of the nurses, which can significantly contribute to improved health status among the children.
Another population that this program aims to satisfy includes the childrens parents. During illness, parents are usually very concerned about the health outcome of their children. The improved health outcome among the children can cause parents to have increased confidence in nursing care, leading to the increased number of people who seek care in the medical setting.
Benefits of the Program
This program will immensely benefit the pediatric patients, the nurses, and, of course, the hospital. The guaranteed benefits for the pediatric patients in this program include improved curative, preventive and health promotion services. Nurses will also significantly benefit from this program by receiving the incentives, such as rewards for a job well done, autonomy through participating in delegated duties and satisfaction due to improved communication in the chain of command. According to Al?Hussami, Darawad, Saleh, & Hayajneh, these benefits have been found efficient in preventing the increased nurse turnover. Finally, hospitals will have convenient and efficient nursing staffs to handle the needs of the patients, thus, avoiding the increased costs that come with recruiting and orienting other nurses due to nurse turnover.
This described project has an aim to retain ten nurses in the pediatric setting and, thus, an annual budget of $900,000 will be appropriate in ensuring incentives, promotions, salaries, and rewards. This budget is made based on the labor cost study conducted by Klynveld Peat Marwick & Goerdeler [KPMG], which indicated that the United States national average wage for a nurse is $67,000 per year. For ten nurses, salaries are estimated to cost $670,000 annually. The remainder of $230,000 will be allocated to rewarding nurses for performing the leadership-delegated duties, incentives for doing a better job and payments due to promotions at the workplace because of better performance. The motivation will focus on nurses who show commitment to their work to facilitate the improved service delivery.
Basis for Program Evaluation
The evaluation of this program will be done through patient and nurse interviews, and comparing the then nursing service delivery with the previous one. The nurses involved in the program will be interviewed after three months of work to give their views on the project. The guardians of the pediatric patients will also provide some information on the nursing service delivery upon discharge. The documentation of services offered will be compared to the previous ones in order to identify any improvements. This documented information will be vital for implementing any further changes in the program.
Improved patient outcome definitely depends on the appropriate nursing staffing, since nurses form the largest percentage of the healthcare team. This program aims to improve nurse retention by ensuring autonomy and guaranteeing the incentives. The program will benefit the pediatric patients, their parents, the nurses, the community and the hospital. Consequently, a budget of $900,000 for 10 nurses working in the pediatric setting is appropriate for ensuring salaries, rewards, incentives, and promotions. The evaluation of the programs success can be done through patient interviews and staff appraisal.