Experienced direct-care nurses respond positively to retention initiatives, study finds

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A number of different trial programs conducted around the country have proven successful at retaining experienced direct-care nurses, according to a new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

A white paper, Wisdom At Work, initiated by RWJF in 2006, offers a study of 13 initiatives in 10 states geared toward veteran nurse retention. One initiative in Greenville, N.C., called "Fanning the Flame," succeeded in retaining 97% of the 168 nurses that participated in the program. As many as 80% of participants said the program positively influenced their level of job satisfaction, according to the report. During a beachside weekend getaway, the nurses were asked to participate in activities as varied as kite flying and bubble blowing, to discussions with former patients about what impact nurses had had on their lives. They were also encouraged to re-envision their careers and work toward those goals.

Veteran nurses who had thought they had taken advantage of all the educational opportunities available to them before the Fanning the Flames program became more involved in research and community projects, and went on to achieve more certification in specialty areas, according to the report. Details on this and other similar nurse retention programs can be found at www.rwjf.org/goto/wisdomatwork.


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