Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Improving Retention of Home Health Nurses

Fostering Outcome Sustainability Through an Innovative Orientation and Mentorship Program

Pennington, Gwen DNP, RN-BC, AGCNS-BC; Driscoll, Amy DNP, RN, GCNS-BC

doi: 10.1097/NHH.0000000000000782

Home healthcare plays an increasingly vital role in contemporary postacute healthcare. Staffing instability and lack of perceived organizational support is a stimulus for nursing attrition from the organization with far-reaching impact on staff morale, patient care, agency budgets, and relationships with other healthcare settings. The purpose of this article is to describe a redesign of an agency's nursing orientation and the development of a mentorship program for newly hired home healthcare nurses within a large Midwestern integrated health system. During this time frame, 154 nurses completed the newly designed orientation program and, of those, 91 participated in the mentorship program. In this article, we evaluate 1-year new-hire nursing retention rates over a 4-year period, examine new-hire job satisfaction and perceptions of preceptors and mentors during their first year, and discuss issues of outcome sustainability. Agency-wide turnover rates for all home healthcare nurses decreased from 15.4% in 2016 to 10.1% in 2018, demonstrating the associated impact of these initiatives on staffing stabilization.

Gwen Pennington, DNP, RN-BC, AGCNS-BC, is a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Department of Clinical Excellence, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Amy Driscoll, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC, is a Manager of Education and Clinical Programs, Department of Clinical Excellence, Aurora at Home & Advocate at Home, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address for correspondence: Gwen Pennington, DNP, RN-BC, AGCNS-BC, Department of Clinical Excellence, Aurora at Home, 11333 W National Avenue, West Allis, WI 53227 (

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.