Expert advice

Workforce: The problem that's bigger than staff turnover

When it comes to staffing, there's a larger, system-wide issue, says James Buchan
Two nurses waving goodbye to a colleague

When it comes to staffing, there's a larger, system-wide issue, says James Buchan

Every time a nurse leaves an organisation the turnover in staff can have a seriously negative impact, including delayed care, lost skills, costs of replacement and a lowering of staff morale.

My recent international review of nurse retention, published by the International Centre on Nurse Migration in July, reminds us that the financial impact of nurse turnover on the employer can be equivalent to at least several months’ salary per nurse.

With tens of thousands of vacant NHS nursing posts, these problems escalate. So it is little wonder that the lost productivity and the time and cost of finding replacement nurses are major concerns for most NHS employers.

Improving retention

In July last year I wrote a column about a pilot programme initiated by NHS

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