Developing a Nurse Retention Program Aimed at Reducing Nursing Turnover

Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Barbara Niedz


Many healthcare organizations are investigating the reasons for nurse turnover and seeking ways to retain the nurses they already employ. The primary deliverable of the DNP project was a nurse retention plan. In order to devise the plan, the DNP student conducted a literature review, collected qualitative data from representative nursing staff members, and assembled an expert panel of senior leaders to secure permissions to implement the nurse retention plan. The purpose of the project was to develop a nurse retention plan for the emergency department and propose it to an expert panel of nursing administration at the project site. The concepts of nursing satisfaction, theory of human capital, nurse dissatisfaction, and nurse turnover were used for this DNP project. At the practicum site, 36.7% of the emergency department nurses (n =22) participated in the DNP student's focus groups. Coding was used and the themes that emerged from the focus groups were that nurses feel stuck and want the opportunity to advance, there was a lack of communication and pay was a determining factor regarding whether nurses plan to stay employed in the project site's emergency department. Recommendations to decrease voluntary nursing turnover included more flexible scheduling, forming a scheduling committee in the department, providing for more nursing autonomy, and the sharing of emergency department staff throughout the health system all of which were accepted by the expert panel for evaluation and implementation. This project contributes to positive social change, as nurse satisfaction and decreased nursing turnover has been linked to increased patient satisfaction and better patient outcomes.

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