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How Hospitals Are Getting Creative To Attract & Retain Nurses

Higher pay isn’t quelling nurse turnover, and it’s not enticing new talent; here’s how smart healthcare systems are handling it.

Money can buy hospitals many things, but more nurses isn’t one of them.

Despite significant salary boosts and other financial incentives, healthcare systems are struggling to successfully recruit and retain nursing staff.

In response, healthcare leaders are pivoting to creative benefit offerings that reduce stress and increase work-life balance.

From enhancing flexibility to offering perks that make day-to-day life easier, here are the benefit solutions HR healthcare professionals are turning to.


Nursing Burnout at a Glance

When it comes to patient care, nurses are in the thick of things. The surges of COVID-19 hospitalizations have impacted nursing staff’s ability to maintain patient care. Nurses find it challenging to keep up with their daily tasks while experiencing a work overload with added responsibilities.


burnout costs the average hospital between $4.4 million and $6.9 million each year in turnover and recruiting costs

Source: National Health Care Retention and RN Staffing Report, (


Even before the pandemic, hospitals were warned about the likelihood of a nursing shortage. According to the American Journal of Medical Quality, registered nursing jobs will decrease by 510,394 by 2030. The prevalence of COVID-19 has only made this shortage more significant, forcing nurses to work in exhausting and high-stress situations.

What makes this issue even worse is that the frustrations with COVID reemerge in the healthcare industry with every new variant. This was particularly noticeable when the virulence of the Delta strain made it more transmissible than previous variants. With the new wave of nurse burnout, hospitals quickly realized that benefits and safer working conditions were required to retain their employees.


READ: The Business Case for Reducing Nurse Burnout in Hospitals


How Hospitals Are Attracting and Retaining Nurses

There’s no doubt that hospitals have begun to develop various benefits that help retain and attract new nurses. Although these benefits don’t eliminate the considerable staffing shortage nationwide or worldwide, they can help relieve the stresses of managing a monumental healthcare crisis.

Let’s look at some of the key ways hospitals are ensuring their staff get added benefits to help keep them satisfied.

Signing Bonuses

One of the most common ways hospitals have been attracting new staff members is by offering signing bonuses. When a prospective employee gets hired, the hospitals include additional payment to their average salary. This added monetary incentive surely draws more healthcare workers to a specific hospital.

With that said, signing bonuses are often great for attracting new personnel but do little to retain existing employees. This gap in benefits has led hospitals to consider other types of bonuses for their nurses.

Boosting Employee Morale

Instead of providing more money to new employees, hospitals often take an interpersonal approach when retaining their nurses. By helping healthcare workers become part of a community, their staff is likely to feel happier in their careers. There are several ways that hospitals can maintain employee morale, ranging from motivational courses to flexible scheduling.




At the end of the day, the essential step to maintaining employee morale is to ensure that nurses are heard. Taking their concerns and difficulties into account can help hospitals develop better working conditions. In addition, the happier nurses are with their job placement, the less likely they will burn out or search for a career elsewhere.

A few examples of ways to help maintain employee morale include:

  • Sending birthday cards.
  • Sending employees on team-building trips.
  • Hosting empowerment conferences.
  • Promoting better health and wellness for their nurses.


How One Hospital is Helping Their Nursing Teams Cope with COVID-19. 


Enhancing Flexibility

Having a good mix between your personal and professional life is vital for any employee, especially healthcare workers. As a nurse, having access to a flexible schedule is something other professionals don’t have. As a result, hospitals with the most flexible scheduling are likely to retain the most employees and attract new hires.

By offering a combination of full- and part-time shifts, nurses can decide which schedule works best. For example, some hospitals provide eight-hour, 12-hour, and part-time shifts based on the needs of their employees. At the end of the week, if your nurses feel like they have control over their schedules, they’ll be much happier.

Education and Research Opportunities

The vast majority of employees are interested in diversifying their skills to develop as an employee. Hospitals that offer educational and research opportunities are bound to be the most competitive in the industry. Your nurses will be able to unlock an ample number of educational benefits, fostering research and innovation.

A phenomenal way to offer this benefit to your staff is to make sure that you offer on-site degree programs. Nurses can then work towards their master’s or other graduate degrees more easily. Some hospitals even offer tuition reimbursement, which is a huge benefit that your employees will surely appreciate.


Source: Best Upon Request Nurse Survey conducted at the ANCC National Magnet Conference.


Concierge Services: A Benefit Nursing Staff Need Today

There certainly isn’t a shortage of benefits that hospitals can implement to help make their nurses’ lives easier. One of the premier options is a concierge service, outsourced to a company that runs errands for your employees while they’re working. Best Upon Request is one example of a specialized concierge service for hospital employees.

A concierge or errand running service might seem too good to be true. However, these companies are often affordable and accessible for hospitals to use. It is a massive benefit for nurses because it’s an employer-funded program, a true benefit with a significant impact.

There are many ways that errand services like Best Upon Request can help, including:

  • Food services.
  • Online shopping.
  • Product repair.
  • Shipping assistance.
  • Auto services.
  • Shopping.

Instead of employees taking time out of their day to handle everyday chores and tasks, they can rest or spend time with their loved ones. It’s a well-loved part of a company’s employee benefits program and a popular solution for employee retention.


Taking Good Care of Your Nurses To Prevent Burnout

Nursing burnout is a prevalent concern that hospitals need to consider to maintain the happiness of their staff. Instead of succumbing to a considerable loss of employees from work stress-related issues, offering exceptional benefits can help. With unique concierge services, every hospital can ensure their nurses are adequately cared for.