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Discuss Importance of Nursing Retention Practices

In a short essay, respond to the Alegent Health case. The two questions at the end of the case should be incorporated into the response. Use APA format (modified) and be sure to properly cite all sources used. You do not need a cover sheet or an abstract, but be sure to put a title for your essay, and citations per APA. Two sources required.


Alegent Health is an Omaha based non profit health care system composed of seven hospitals with about 2,000 beds and more than 200 clinic and outpatient locations, 1,200 physicians, and over 7,500 other employees who work throughout the organization.

Several years ago, Alegent recognized that HR issues needed "acute care treatment." Turnover rates of 24%, coupled with over 500 unfilled positions, were costing the firm over $15 million annually.

Four years later, the turnover rates have declined to 12% and open positions have dropped to fewer than 100. Because of their improvements, Alegent's HR practices, and especially its retention successes, won several local and national awards. Alegent was named one of the "Best Places to Work in Omaha." The award was based on surveys of employees that asked about credibility, respect and fairness, pride, and camaraderie. Alegent also received a Workforce Management's Optimas Award in the financial impact category for its success at recruiting and retaining key staff. Alegent is clearly being effective with some HR activities to win all the awards.

Specifically regarding retention efforts, Alegent created an Employee Retention Task Force whose focus was to decrease turnover and increase employee satisfaction. The task force identified several strategies to be used.

One program illustrates how Alegent approached retention of nurses. The Nursing Residence Program has caught national attention. Each resident (or new nurse) is paired with an experienced nurse or "preceptor' based on interests, personality, and so on. Also, a mentor outside the nursing department adds support and encouragement to individuals. Nursing staff meet monthly for training. In addition, they can visit various other departments (pediatrics, cardiology, etc.) in which they may have career interests. Nurses interested in management can shadow the department director to see how the department is managed. Returning nurses who have been out of the field five or more years are enrolled, retrained, and paired with recently finished residents.

Alegent Health is the exception to the turnover levels in nursing. Compared to the U.S. health care industry rate of 20%, Alegent's turnover rate of 7.6% is exceptional. Another key to aiding nursing recruitment and retention is an extensive training and development program. Many different short courses and classes are provided to Alegent employees at no cost. As part of this program, Alegent pays up to $20,000 for employees selected for a career advancement program to obtain nursing degrees.


1. Discuss how Alegent's practices match with the recommended retention practices covered in the chapter.

2. Why was a broadbased approach to nursing retention important?

3. As the HR manager, you have been asked to provide the senior management team with turnover costs for one high-turnover position. Using and, calculate turnover and analyze the variable involved. Also identify any other data that might be relevant.

The position is: Machine Operator
Number of employees: 250
Number of turnovers: 85
Average Wage: $11.50/hour
Cost of benefits: 38% of payroll

Solution Preview

Alegent Health Case Analysis


Nowadays, in health care industry, turnover rate of employees is increasing due to unfavorable workplace environment (Brewster & Harris, 2004). According to the case, Alegent Health Care System that is a non-profit system is well known for its human resource practices. The organization follows a suitable approach to lower the turnover rate and enhance employee satisfaction (Hines & Protexter, February 26, 2004). This non-profit health system deploys employee retention programs and training and development practices to retain the employees. There will be a discussion of Alegent Health's practices and broad-based approach.


Alegent Health's practices to retain the employees match with the recommended retention practices. At Alegent Health, pride, respect, fairness, credibility etc are core values that play a vital role in retaining the workforce. Due to its retention efforts, the non-profit health system has received various local as well as national awards (Hines & Protexter, February 26, 2004). There are various retention practices that are developed Alegent Health System to retain the employees. These are as follows:

Employee Retention Task Force: Alegent Health has developed employee retention taskforce to retain its employees (Brewster & Harris, 2004). As a part of this taskforce, the main function was to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee satisfaction. This practice of the health system has enabled it to receive recognition for its retention efforts in the form of title like Workforce Management Optimas Award. ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the importance of nursing retention practices.