Leaders and Managers Preventing Nurse Turnover

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 4
Words: 1237
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College


Nursing, when implemented correctly, impacts patient satisfaction and ensures quality care delivery at each medical facility. However, long hours increase workload leading to clinical burnout. Nurses affected by burnout may choose to leave their current health facility resulting in high turnover. The organizations they work for undergo consequences such as an expertise shortage and ineffective service delivery due to job dissatisfaction. To address turnover, nurse leaders and managers should improve the work environment by creating policies and programs that assess burnout and emotional exhaustion in nursing professionals, thus minimizing positional changes and increasing patient satisfaction.

Nurse Turnover

Nurse turnover affects nurses individually, and its consequences also reflect on the organizational level. Turnover defines a nurse’s shift from one organization to another either due to retirement, seeking better pay, or work environment improvement (Kelly et al., 2021). Burnout is a vital element that causes not only positional shifts in medical settings but also organizational shifts. The change in the number of health professionals leaves a vacuum in critical areas and adversely impacts service delivery (Kelly et al., 2021). The lack of professional nurses reduces the nurse-to-patient ratio, increasing the number of patients to whom medical services are unadministered. Poor service delivery due to this nurse-patient imbalance results in low quality of care that adversely impacts the hospital’s reputation. Turnover critically leaves health facilities with few nurses, who suffer more workload, resulting in more organizational shifts due to job dissatisfaction.

The professional standards of practice demand and promote a high code of conduct when interacting with patients. The professional standards of practice apply to all medical professionals, and they standardize the level of care a patient undergoes in the hospital. Higher standards of practice eliminate irresponsible caregivers and improve employee retention by minimizing nurse turnover. High-quality standards in nursing begin from the hiring process that ensures high retention by hiring qualified personnel. Additionally, these standards should create an environment that supports and supervises nurses under the guidance of experienced professionals. Nursing leaders and managers should deal with medical tasks on the floor and maintain the same standard when making decisions that affect the entire organization. By creating a supportive environment, managers effectively minimize burnout and increase patient satisfaction.

Nurse managers and leaders have differing skills and roles in health facilities. Managers are critical in decision-making and their role is to ensure the health facility operates optimally by combining budgetary tasks and patient care planning. Furthermore, managers set the goals for the facility and are responsible for improving the service quality. Daily nurse assignments and schedules are a manager’s duty and require immense skill to execute, ensuring the staff’s performance maintains a high output level. Elements of professional growth through opportunities such as career or educational enhancement fall under their scope. They advise and manage the nurses and generate clear professional expectations from them.

Alternatively, nurse leaders have a hands-on role and have less task-oriented work than nurse managers. Leaders carry out the organizational goals and vision by directly influencing and impacting their teams. Nurse leaders establish and achieve goals in the hospital due to their experience and fulfill the long-range strategic plans of their hospital (Blok et al., 2021). Moreover, leaders are also responsible for the financial implementation of the budget and are concerned with organizational outcomes. Their skills harness the emotional and physical output of the nurses under their charge. They also vitally detect issues such as burnout or job dissatisfaction and create programs to address them. They operate at a level of specialty and ensure high-quality care delivery to each patient through influencing and impacting the nursing staff.

Despite working together to address organizational issues, nurse leaders and managers have different approaches to eliminating nurse turnover. Managers can influence decision-making in boardrooms, effectively creating and implementing programs and policies that detect burnout and exhaustion in nurses before deciding on an organizational shift. They can change the staff schedule to minimize the workload on the staff, thus creating a healthy work environment (Moore et al., 2016). However, nurse leaders work hand-in-hand to influence and motivate the nursing staff by offering advice and expertise based on past experiences. Leaders re-align their workers to the organizational goals and focus on implementing them effectively to boost patient care delivery. Strategies such as ensuring a good nurse-to-patient ratio and dividing up responsibilities can improve the staff’s mood and increase overall patient care.

Additional aspects that managers and leaders can employ to reduce turnover are increasing wages, provision of suggestion boxes, and advocating for nurses’ rights. Blok et al. (2021) assert that increasing pay encourages workers to retain their jobs, especially with high-level employees whose skills are non-transferable. The loss of such expertise creates a vacuum that leaves nurses without supervision and reduces patient satisfaction in service delivery. Introducing suggestion boxes provide staff members with a communication avenue with the hospital management. Moreover, advocating and representing the grievances of the staff to the board improves the reception of decisions handed down and created by the latter (Blok et al., 2021). Advocacy and representation are critical in health organizations, especially since these aspects formulate the professional code of conduct. A safe and well-staffed environment with the correct equipment assists in implementing organizational goals leading to improved job satisfaction. The nurses that are content with their job titles and responsibilities will feel less inclined to opt for organizational or positional change. Their initiatives and efforts are focused on eliciting the best from their patients and the organizations that employ them.

A democratic leadership style offers versatility and flexibility to curb nurse turnover. This style depends on the collective input of the staff in the decision-making process regarding the rules in the hospital, working hours, or its core mission. Open communication and a constant flow of information are encouraged under the democratic framework, revealing its vital advantage over other leadership styles (Magbity et al., 2020). Due to its increased inclusivity, this style necessitates the staff input, ensuring that the management body is aware of their grievances and can address them before any organizational shift occurs. Furthermore, nurses’ expectations and responsibilities are created by workers, providing minimal room for failure or erratic performance.

A democratic leader relies on constant feedback and uses the flow of communication to assess the growth or problems in the organization. This sort of leader has an advantage in creating programs and initiatives specific to their staff because they have intimate knowledge of their limits and strengths (Magbity et al., 2020). Furthermore, a democracy will contribute to the educational and professional advancement of the workers by negating vices such as nepotism or favoritism. The style yields to change and creates a framework of harmony and open communication.


In conclusion, nurse turnover is a recurring problem that defines the organizational shift a nurse undertakes, either due to retirement or job dissatisfaction. The latter can arise from several causes, primarily exhaustion and burnout in the medical field due to work overload. Nurse-to-patient ratios are often inadequate in hospitals which leads to patient dissatisfaction. However, nurse leaders and managers can initiate programs that detect nurse burnout and create a work environment that encourages retention. By hiring qualified staff and utilizing a democratic style of leaders, managers can ensure the problems their staff undergo are addressed quickly and create schedules that minimize the overall workload. Effective policies and a cooperative work environment reduce turnover and maintain high levels of professional conduct within any health facility.


Blok, A. C., Anderson, E., Swamy, L., & Mohr, D. C. (2021). Comparing nurse leader and manager perceptions of and strategies for nurse engagement using a positive deviance approach: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Nursing Management, 29(6), 1476–1485. Web.

Kelly, L. A., Gee, P. M., & Butler, R. J. (2021). Impact of nurse burnout on organizational and position turnover. Nursing Outlook, 69(1), 96–102. Web.

Magbity, J. B., Ofei, A. M. A., & Wilson, D. (2020). Leadership styles of Nurse Managers and turnover intention. Hospital Topics, 98(2), 45–50. Web.

Moore, L. W., Sublett, C., & Leahy, C. (2016). Nurse Managers’ insights regarding their role highlight the need for practice changes. Applied Nursing Research, 30, 98–103. Web.