1. Frame, Debbie MCC

Article Content

As a consultant who's worked for years in healthcare organizations stricken by nursing shortages, I've found that the facilities with low turnover in nursing leadership roles are the ones that hire for specific talents and strengths. Skills are things you can teach and remediate, talents and strengths are elements you're born with, and if you don't have them, you can't "grow" them.


Every hospital I've worked with that's experiencing single-digit RN turnover has internal leadership development programs. These programs offer the following benefits:


[white diamond suit] development opportunities for those who want to, and are qualified to, move into nursing leadership roles now or in the future


[white diamond suit]a common, robust core of leadership skills and competencies for those supervising, managing, and leading the nursing organization, which in turn provides consistency and a culture of fairness


[white diamond suit] a certain level of development, shared language, and concepts for all nursing departments


[white diamond suit] role models of expected behaviors, problem-solving, and collegial interaction for all functions and the hospital at large


[white diamond suit] opportunities for nursing staff to be a part of process improvements to eliminate wasted time, procedures, and unnecessary administrative requirements, and to simplify and streamline workflows.



At these organizations, all nurses receive basic skills and feel valued and invested in. Nurses have a voice in how processes and work flow, and they enjoy a degree of autonomy over the practice setting. They also feel better prepared to work with patients, family, medical staff, and other hospital staff because of their training. Things simply run more smoothly because everyone has shared training, expectations, goals, and standards of practice and behavior. Strong leadership is paramount.


Creating a culture of shared language, concepts, and behavioral standards goes a long way in creating a work environment of choice and retaining talent.