Nurse Retention in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

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Hlahol, Melanie

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The Ohio State University

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New graduate retention within intensive care units is startlingly low. The purpose of this DNP project was to evaluate current retention programs from the perspective of current new nurses, probe responses to elicit specific underlying issues and concerns, and develop a retention plan targeted specifically for the new graduate nurses in this pediatric ICU. A focus group was created (n=6) consisting of new graduate nurses who have been working on the unit for 2 years or less. Participants responded to open-ended questions. We found that perceived lack of support and inconsistency were major themes related to why new graduate retention on this unit was low. The project director met with a retention task force to develop a specialized retention plan for the unit based on these themes. Three areas of focus that were developed for the retention plan included educational improvements, peer to peer support, and clinical leader improvement opportunities. This project provided an in-depth analysis on why retention rates for new graduate nurses are low within a specific ICU area and allowed for a specialized retention plan to be developed to improve new graduate retention on this unit in the future.



new graduate retention, pediatric ICU, retention plan