We have learned that more than 30% of new graduate nurses turnover within their first year of practice. We are also aware that more than 60% of new graduate nurses leave the profession within the first two years of their practice.
Nurse turnover is very expensive as it costs between $62,000-$67,000 each time a trained registered nurse leaves their position. In specialty areas that cost can exceed $140,000 per nurse. This is prohibitively expensive for organizations and adds to the ever growing costs associated with our health care system.
In addition, we have learned that there are clear patient safety implications. The Joint Commission showed that of 1690 adverse events over a five year period, 24% were related to training of staff and human resource related errors (The Joint Commission, 2004). Thompson (2004) went on to point out that inadequate training of new employees attributed to 58% of these errors. A study by Kenward and Zhong (2006) found that of 1000 new graduate nurses over 20% have been involved in errors related to patient falls. Additionally, Morrow (2009) identified through a review of the literature that patient care from nurses with less experience contributed to an increase in wound infections and the mortality associated with these increased infections. To further support the importance of the nursing practice of new graduate nurses, Dunton et. al (2007) found that by matching RN characteristics with 2006 data from the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI), each additional year of nursing experience decreased the fall rate by 1%, and decreased the hospital acquired pressure ulcer rate by 1.9%.
Dunton, N., Gajewski, B., Klaus, S. & Pierson, B. (2007). The relationship of nursing workforce characteristics to patient outcomes. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 12(3). Accessed on July 3, 2011from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/
Kenward, K. & Zhong, E. (2006). Report of Findings from the Practice and Professional Issues Survey: Fall 2004. National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Chicago, IL.
Morrow, S. (2009). New graduate transitions: leaving the nest, joining the flight. Journal of Nursing Management.17, 278-287.
The Joint Commission. (2004). Sentinel Events: Cause and Planning Improvement, 2nd Edition. The Joint Commission. Chicago, IL.
Thompson, J.W. (2004). J. Walter Thompson Specialized Communications for University of Michigan Health System. Lenexa, KS.