As the demand for nurses grows, some Mid-South hospitals have responded to the shortage with various recruitment and retention strategies. But despite the efforts, several experts say hospitals will continue to face staffing challenges because of the retirement of baby boomers, an aging population, and a shortage of nursing faculty in higher education.
Memphis-area hospitals compete for both new and experienced nurses by offering incentives such as referral bonuses, tuition reimbursement, loan payment programs, internship and residency programs, employee-friendly work environments and recognition and professional development programs.
“Compensation is an issue, but it’s hard to retain nurses when there is a shortage, so it’s important for hospitals to maintain career development at bedside for nurses and provide areas for advancement,” said Wendy Likes, Ph.D., professor and dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. “Nurses want to work in an environment where they are recognized and appreciated.”