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Nationwide Nursing Shortage Spotlights Need for Retention Programs
Date:4/15/2009

-- Median Turnover Rate of 27.1 Percent for First-Year Nurses Jeopardizes Quality of Patient Care

-- UHC/AACN Nurse Residency Program(TM) Reduces Turnover Rate to Almost One-Fifth the National Average

-- Retention Efforts Save Houston Hospital More Than $700,000

OAK BROOK, Ill., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The recent health care summit at the White House spotlighted the nursing shortage, which threatens the quality of patient care throughout the nation's hospitals. Nearly 80 percent of registered nurses believe the shortage has a major impact on their ability to provide high-quality care, according to a recent study by nursing shortage expert Dr. Peter Buerhaus.

The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), an alliance of 103 academic medical centers and 210 of their affiliated hospitals, supports the Obama administration's call to action by imploring all hospitals to focus on nursing staff retention, especially during the economic downturn.

According to the latest projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2016. For new nurses entering the profession, turnover is a major issue. In fact, the median voluntary turnover rate for first-year nurses is 27.1 percent, according to a July 2007 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute.

To address first-year nurse turnover, UHC worked in conjunction with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to develop the UHC/AACN Nurse Residency Program(TM), which offers a curriculum and support for new graduate nurses. This one-year program provides first-year nurses with tools to adjust to the high pressures of working as a hospital nurse and has shown remarkable success in nurse retention.

"First-year nurses often have a difficult transit
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SOURCE University HealthSystem Consortium
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