How this VA hospital in Wisconsin cut nurse turnover by 52%

Gabrielle Masson - Print  | 

Amid a severe nursing shortage, a Wisconsin Veterans Affairs hospital launched an interview program that reduced nurse turnover rates by 52 percent, according to McKnight's Long-Term Care News.

Tomah (Wis.) VA Medical Center implemented the Nursing Stay Interview program over a year ago. The initiative requires nurse managers to interview new nurses after 30 and 90 days on the job. Questions include, "What, if anything, would you change about your job?" and "What things demoralize you and make you long for your days off?"

The questions prompt open discussion between staff and hospital leaders, and help leaders fix problems, according to Natalie Hackbarth, MSN, RN, acting associate chief of staff for mental health and associate chief nurse for mental health at the VA facility. In the program's first year, nurse turnover dropped by 52 percent.

The program now includes licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants and mental health services staff, Ms. Hackbarth told McKnight's Long-Term Care News. Similar programs have been implemented at VA facilities in Texas and Oklahoma.

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