Fixing to go

An analysis of Missouri’s health care employment data indicate that employees who had delayed retirement because of the recession are now starting to do so following more recent economic improvements. The Missouri Hospital Association’s “2015 Workforce Report: Return to Volatility” found that turnover among the 36 health care occupations studied climbed 3.4 percentage points to 16.3 from 12.9 percent in 2014’s report. The state’s aging workforce, like that of the rest of the country, may be increasingly inclined to retire, the report concludes. In Missouri, about 44 percent of working advanced practice registered nurses are 50 or older, and among RNs the number stands at 42 percent. Roughly half of those nurses plan to retire within 10 years.

Experience counts

Newly licensed nurses are more likely to experience needlestick injuries when working 12-hour shifts and when working certain forms of overtime, according to a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies. In addition, sprains and strains were found to be more common on the night shift. The results are noteworthy because new nurses, not having seniority, often work odd-hour shifts, and hospital schedulers should take that into account, according to the study. Data came from a 10-year study of new nurses called the RN Work Project.

Paying a debt

Memorial Hermann Health System in July began offering student loan debt payment assistance to employees who had graduated three years ago or less. The assistance is designed to attract and retain employees who perhaps can’t take advantage of tuition reimbursement programs, says Ann Hollingsworth, vice president of compensation, benefits and human resources information services. Once a loan is paid off, employees are required to work at least two years. Though not exclusive to RNs, they are the primary focus for the benefit, given the large number the system employs, Hollingsworth says.