San Luis Valley Health (SLVH) is the main healthcare provider and largest employer in a vast rural area in south-central Colorado. The growing organization experiences continued demand for nursing staff. Though two area nursing schools have provided a steady pipeline of new BSN and ADN program graduates, new nurse retention at SLVH has been more than 25% within the first year and 48% by the end of their second year. The organization has had to rely on travel nursing services to fill staffing gaps, increasing the strain on their budget.
The leadership team at SLVH leadership knew they needed to improve their nursing onboarding experience. An initial revamp with limited success was quickly followed by an implementation of HealthStream’s Nurse Residency, a customizable collection of evidence-based resources, cohort insights and communities of practice. SLVH tested the program with an initial cohort of five nurses in May 2018, expanding its use thereafter.
SLVH’s new nurse turnover went from 26.8% to 7.1% saving approximately $787,500 in the first year. The positive financial impact was tremendous as two obstetrics travel nurses would normally cost the organization $135K annually. Importantly, confidence scores also saw continuous growth and nurse residents were highly engaged based on quality and satisfaction measures. As a small, rural healthcare provider, SLVH had significant challenges in terms of retaining its workforce, when higher-paying positions were available in nearby metropolitan areas. HealthStream and its Nurse Residency resources helped to establish SLVH as a healthcare provider of choice.
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