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Effective Nurse Retention Strategies For Long-Term Care

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 5 years ago
  • Author:by Kate Andrews

Whether a long-term care (LTC) provider operates a multi-site chain governed by a board of directors or is the sole proprietor of a single facility, retention of nurses can be a challenge.  

While LTC organizations are committed to supporting their nursing staff, they don’t always possess the time and resources to do so, especially when compared with acute-care facilities. Due to their size, staffing levels and tendency to hire multiple nurses at once, acute-care facilities can offer nurse residency programs. These programs provide training and mentoring, which can be highly effective at boosting the confidence of new starters, developing skills, and, crucially, improving RN retention rates. In comparison, LTC facilities don’t have doctors or specialists, so the majority of the care responsibility is placed on the shoulders of nurses. 

In this blog post, the Conexus team looks at some of the ways that LTC facilities can improve nursing retention levels. 

Orientation & Onboarding

Strong orientation and onboarding programs can make a significant positive impact on nursing staff retention. Some elements to consider include: 

  • Getting buy-in from all levels, from HR to the facility’s director, on what’s required to prepare nurses for work in that environment

  • Allow new nurses to start with a slightly lower workload that gradually increases over an agreed period

  • Partner new starters with an experienced nurse mentor who will offer support, guidance, and deliver feedback on performance

  • Encourage an open dialogue between new starters and senior staff which allows for questions without judgment. 

Leading By Example

The behavior of leadership figures is a significant driver when it comes to staff commitment and retention. Effective leaders in healthcare demonstrate the following traits/actions: 

  • Emphasis on continuous education for staff

  • A focus on employee needs and aspirations 

  • Proactivity 

  • Appreciation and respect for staff at all levels

  • Open, honest and direct communication. 

Establishing A Close-Knit Team

A sense of connectedness within a team can be a crucial driving factor in staff retention. Working on creating a family atmosphere in the workplace, where everyone is respected and has a connection with one another, will pay off in the long-term. As well as facilitating staff initiatives outside of the workplace to bolster relationships, it helps if an employee can envisage a future with the organization. A commitment to training, mentoring, career development, and employee empowerment can go a long way in helping to achieve this. 

Working With A Staffing Partner

A staffing partner with experience placing LTC nurses can offer additional support that a facility may not be able to facilitate. For example, Conexus provides in-person support to nurses in two main ways: 

Ongoing education and development through a dedicated Clinical Nurse Educator to ensure nurses are well-equipped in their role and have the educational tools they need to continue developing and growing in their career. 

Personal support through our Operation Managers who help each nurse settle into a new city or state, whether that’s by sourcing the right accommodation, scoping out transport options, or finding schools for their children.

We work with a wide range of LTC organizations across the US to provide staffing solutions that suit their exact needs, whether that’s placing 2-5 nurses in a single location or staffing multiple facilities that span a state or the country. 

Find Out More 

Download our guide ‘Hiring the Right Nurses for your Long-Term Care Facility’ to get more information about recruiting international nurses and find out how Conexus can help with the process.