Effective onboarding program to engage new nurse, reduce turnover and increase career longevity in Cardiothoracic Surgical Department (CTSD)

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Abstract Summary
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Authors (including presenting author) :
Wong SL (1) Wong LY Melody (2) Leung KN Sharron (3)
Affiliation :
(1) Cardiothoracic Surgical Department , Queen Mary Hospital (2) Cardiothoracic Surgical Department , Queen Mary Hospital (3) Cardiothoracic Surgical Department , Queen Mary Hospital
Introduction :
Costly turnover, nursing shortage are global problems in healthcare setting with negative impacts on clinical services and patient safety. As a quality improvement project aims at transiting newly graduated nurses into a competitive, motivated workforce, an “onboarding program” extending beyond orientation was established to early engage pre- registered nurses in CTSD, facilitate their development and building up a stable workforce.
Objectives :
To establish a departmental onboarding program engaging staff, reducing turnover as to build up a productive workforce.
Methodology :
All newly joined nurses were recruited in the program. To promote early engagement and positive department culture, supervisors and co-workers would have welcome lunch with all new comers introducing themselves with video showing department’s values and nurses’ career pathway. Starting from pre registration coaching, undergraduate nurses were trained under “shadow scheme” to experience workflow and culture in CTSD. Supervisors would interview staff periodically for reviewing their needs and progress. Once they staffed as registered nurse, an onboarding checklist would be provided to keep them engaged, ramping up to full productivity within training period. That included setting goals and gradual training schedule to prevent overwhelming. Moreover, “Big brothers and Big sisters” program was implemented. Ward staff acted as buddy partnered with novice nurse to offer advice and guidance for first year. Besides, they would team up with existing staff for ward project and involved in ward meeting from early stage for team assimilation.
Result & Outcome :
After starting the program, 85% pre- registered nurses staffed in CTSD. The introduction of department’s culture in early recruitment phrase helped nurses recognized their interest and suitability to develop here. In past 3 years, there were 45 nurses in our department completed the program. The new hire retention rate was high with 80% retained in three years. This program effectively promoted new staff retention. It strengthened their departmental engagement by helping them adapting rapidly into new role, building up job satisfaction and commitment from beginning, thus, reducing turnover intention. Strong sense of welcome and teamwork promoted inclusiveness and excitement, motivating them developing here. Besides, the program attracted nurses transferred in our workforce. The retained staff shared their great experiences with friends and attracted them actively joining our department. Overall, it improved organizational fiscal and operational effectiveness with building up a stable workforce. Conclusion The one year onboarding program helps early staff retention and development of quality protracted workforce. With further development of patient care assistance onboarding program, it can act as organizational strategy to minimize turnover and maximize resources utilization.

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