Nursing Research Paper Sample on Staff Selection and Retention

NR 534 week 6: Staff Selection and Retention

 “Nursing administrators and health care providers are challenged to recruit, select and retain staff nurses amidst the rising job vacancies, demands for labor mobility, and increasing staff nurse turnover rates” (Mbemba, et al., 2013).

Based on some of the myths and facts surrounding hospital operations, it becomes necessary for nursing administrators to work on the strategy of selecting and retaining staff nurses. The idea behind the nurses’ selection and retention is to enhance service delivery and improve work efficiency. As a way of improving the performance of nursing administrators and health care providers, this paper discusses the significance of staff nurses’ selection and retention, application, implication, and consequences for nurse leaders. 


Nursing selection is the process that nursing administrators and human resource use to determine the applicants that are likely to be successful in meeting the objectives of the organization. The selection process in nursing helps nursing administrators to determine the particular individuals who can fit well with the existing teams of employees or those nurses who can adapt quickly to the culture of the organization. It is variedly known that poor nurse selection may lead to various unnecessary costs in the health care organization, both at the recruitment stage and at the service delivery stage. Like in any other organization, the nurses’ selection process if significant for nurse leaders because the process ensures that the organization has the most qualified and suitable candidates to fill the existing job vacancies.

Apart from ensuring that the nursing staff consists of the most qualified individuals, the selection process is also significant because it allows the recruiting team to:

  • Reduce the number of applicants –The recruitment process often attracts a large number of candidates who may sometimes prove difficult to manage. With the selection process, the recruiting team can reduce the applicants for the nursing position to a manageable number.
  • Assess applicant’s behavior – The selection process is known to provide health care managers with the opportunity to assess employees based on factors such as personality and character. Through the behavioral assessment, managers can obtain employees whose characters, personalities and skills are suitable for the job. Most nursing administrators during the selection process focus on applicant’s flexibility and adaptability traits.
  • Reduce nurse turnover – the primary concern in the selection process is to ensure that employees in the health care organization have the most qualified nurse staff for the identified job position. This means that the individuals recruited for the nursing position are satisfied with their jobs, hence, a reduction in nurse turnover rate.

Conversely, nurse retention is defined as the ability of the health care organization to maintain the highest level of satisfaction among nursing staff and prevent turnover. While other health care organizations keep their employees to reduce the cost of hiring, training and placement, some organization encourage staff retention as a way of ensuring the organization has the most experienced and skilled groups of nurses. Staff retention is significant because it allows nursing administrators and health care providers to reduce overhead costs and also retain the best performing group of nurses.   

Literature Review

The rising demands for quality care services put pressure on healthcare organizations to make the right choices for the selection of nursing staff. Since most organization do not want to be in a situation of replacing existing nurses every year, it is necessary for the recruiting team to identify and retain individuals who can fit in the nursing community (Mbemba, et al., 2013). Currently, most health care providers are moved by the cost of turnover since the impact is greatly felt in the entire organization. In order to maintain a proper selection and retention plan, studies recommend the nursing administrators must take part in reviewing the organizational values, interviewing human resource managers, engaging prospective workers, motivating employees through good payment offers and other benefits, and involving nurses in organization decisions.

In the theory of recruitment, selection and retention, Frederiksen and Takáts (2009) states that selection and retention are among the evidence-based practices that allow organizations to prevent bad hiring and high employee turnover. The selection and retention process according to Frederiksen and Takáts (2009) can best be understood from the perspectives of human resource theories and best nursing practices. This is according to the belief that appropriate selection and retention techniques allow organizations to establish the best possible teams that can maintain the company’s good performance culture.

The first requirement for effective selection and recruitment process in a nursing environment is to develop a job description for the various vacant positions. Through the job description, the health care organization will be able to attract applicants who understand precisely the job requirements regardless of whether they have or do not have the mentioned qualifications, skills and competencies (Jones & Gates, 2007). Researchers in the field of nursing indicate that organizations that can recruit and retain a team of highly performing nurses, work from the approach of making the applicants feel that they are being treated fair even though they are not yet part of the organization. After the selection and recruitment, it is still necessary for the organization to give each nurse an annual review based on the job description and position in the organization.   


Just like in any other organization, selection, and retention plan works best in health care organizations. The two strategies are used by nursing administrators in both public and private healthcare organizations to obtain and retain nurses with skills, experience, and high competencies. By practicing good hiring techniques, healthcare organizations can improve in areas of service delivery, improve medical services, and attract more clients and highly qualified physicians. It is true that every individual would want to be associated with a highly performing organization. Therefore, in areas of decision-making, nurse leaders will obtain a range of solution from the most qualified and experienced nurses. 


With the rising demands for quality medical services across health care centers, studies indicate that good nurses are resourceful when it comes to determining the success of any hospital or health care unit (Jones & Gates, 2007). Even though physicians are in most cases considered to be the drivers of hospital operations, and that the decisions patients make to obtain healthcare services from a specific hospital depend on factors beyond treatment procedures, it is also true that quality nursing team is core to the functioning of the hospital. This, according to medical researchers, is based on the belief that nursing team plays the role of attracting the qualified physicians alongside keeping the patients satisfied with the care services provided.


Frederiksen, A., & Takáts, E. (2009). Promotions, dismissals, and employee selection: Theory and evidence. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, ewp017.

Jones, C. B. C. B., & Gates, M. (2007). The costs and benefits of nurse turnover: A business case for nurse retention. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 12(3).

Mbemba, G., Gagnon, M. P., Paré, G., & Côté, J. (2013). Interventions for supporting nurse retention in rural and remote areas: an umbrella review. Human resources for health, 11(1), 1-9.