First Year Nurse Retention Toolkit

Young nurses starting their careers today are faced with a different work environment than their older peers. They have more opportunities to work in non-hospital environments, they have more tools to identify and apply for different jobs, and they face little to no penalty for changing jobs at the start of their careers. As a result, nursing leaders must take additional steps—beyond their existing engagement efforts—to retain these new, young employees.

This toolkit is designed to help organizations—with and without residency programs—implement three critical strategies for promoting professional growth and building loyalty in the first year: focus on skill development, hardwire a support network, and launch career planning.

Download the Full Toolkit

Nine tools to retain nurses in the first year

Strategy 1: Focus on skill development (p. 9)
Help new nurses gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

Strategy 2: Hardwire a support network (p. 33)
Provide emotional and social support to help new nurses cope with the demands of the job.

Strategy 3: Launch career planning (p. 45)
Tap into the ambition, energy, and creativity of first-year nurses and help them envision a career path at your organization.

Additional resources

  • Make the case for nurse residency program: Use these slides and the related scripting to make a business case for a residency program at your organization. They include data on the impact of residency programs on new graduate nurse confidence, competence, and turnover.
  • Introducing speed mentoring: Use these slides and related scripting to introduce the concept of “speed mentoring” to leaders at your organization. Speed Mentoring will inspire your staff, highlight career paths within your organization, and improve retention rates. The slides describe a real-life example of this practice and the results you can achieve by introducing it.
  • Speed mentoring flyer: Download and customize this flyer to advertise your speed mentoring event.
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