Nurse satisfaction: Hospitals launch programs to improve job retention

Nurses may be split on their levels of job satisfaction, according to an article from the Times Free Press, but hospitals are working to combat the issue.

The newspaper interviewed top local nurses and received a mix of responses. Nurses face some of the highest levels of stress and burnout in any profession, but the article noted a 2013 study which found that more than 90 percent of the surveyed nurses were happy with their jobs.

"There is not another profession in the world that has as wide a range of jobs," Rhonda Poulson, chief nursing officer at CHI Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, told the Times Free Press. Two thirds of that hospital's workforce are nurses. "If this is not your calling, you are not going to find it is a fun job. You have to want to get out of bed every day and put your feet on the floor and take on the challenges."

The article pulled nurse responses from AllNurses.com, a website and forum where nurses can discuss the ins-and-outs of the job. One noted that a lack of respect from physicians and management, unsafe assignments and office politics as challenges that made her feel unvalued. Other nurses noted negative interactions with patients and a preponderance of overtime, according to the article. Hospital design may also contribute to nurse stress and burnout, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Possible solutions to combat nurse fatigue and job dissatisfaction are in place at two area hospitals. At CHI Memorial, newly hired nurses enter a residency program where they work in several different departments during their first five or six weeks on the job, according to the article. The program has a 90 percent retention rate, Poulson said.Then, they list their top choices for where they'd like to work, and the staffs in those departments select the best fit. Erlanger Hospital has a similar program, where nurses can try out their top three assignments before being assigned to a department. "We really try to get them in the right fit," Jan Keys, chief nursing executive at Erlanger, said in the article.

To learn more:
- here's the Times Free Press article

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