The World Health Organization (2010) reports the nursing shortage is a global issue. With the impact of the shortage causing concern for nurse leaders, retaining Registered Nurses (RNs) is an effective strategy. The emergency department (ED) work environment provides an additional challenge to keep nurses as the ED is a fast-paced, critical care setting where RNs are providing care to multiple patients with a wide range of needs every shift. This paper will examine current literature addressing factors impacting and strategies for improving ED RN retention.
A systematic review of the literature showed relationship-focused/transformational leadership practices have a positive influence on job satisfaction and organizational commitment which translates to higher RN retention. The literature also indicated complexity leadership is needed in today’s changing health care environment. An evidence-based practice project was designed to assist the ED leaders evaluate and improve their leadership behaviors. A combination of education and coaching was provided, utilizing the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire to assess the participants’ self- and rater evaluations before and after the intervention.
Although the results were not statically significant, feedback from participants and observations by the coach identified the education and coaching did have an impact on individuals that actively participated in the project. Those that embraced the concepts and followed through on their action plans have continued to practice, further developing innovative leadership behaviors after the project timeframe was completed