5 Ways to reduce RN 'Churn'

Turnover of nurses in their first year of employment is costly to hospitals and stresses staff. PwC Saratoga polled hospitals with low first-year nurse turnover rates and found five practices repeatedly mentioned as most helping to reduce so-called "churn." They are: competency-based interviews or testing based on a standard set of questions to identify if candidates have the desired skills and fit in along cultural and ethical lines; strong relationships with nursing schools and a robust nurse resident program; new nurses are encouraged to provide feedback to human resources staff through orientation programs that last up to a year, with "touch points" after 30-45 days, 90 days, six months and a year; "buddies" who are not supervisors and who provide confidential support; and strong metrics to track where turnover occurs and hold supervisors accountable. Visit www.pwc.com/saratoga.

Replacing Retirees

California hospitals may have a difficult time finding clinical laboratory scientists and other allied health professionals because of a surge in retirements over the next five years. A report from the California Hospital Association found that 844 clinical lab scientists will be eligible for retirement by 2015, but the state graduates only about 125 CLS students per year. Shortages also are predicted among respiratory therapists, physical therapists, radiological technicians, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and diagnostic technicians. The CHA urged the state to provide more funding for education and, among other things, ensure the health science curriculum is aligned with health care needs. Visit www.calhospital.org.

Hospitals Make Best Employer list

Fortune magazine's 2011 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For includes 11 hospitals and health systems: the Methodist Hospital System in Houston; Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth; Scripps Health in San Diego; Baptist Health South Florida in Coral Gables, Fla.; Atlantic Health in Morristown, N.J.; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.; OhioHealth in Columbus; Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.; and Meridian Health in Neptune, N.J. Visit http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2011/index.html.

Health & Human Services adds teaching centers

HHS designated 11 new Teaching Health Centers in an effort to boost the number of primary care and dental providers by offering training in community settings. Visit http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/pressreleases/110125teachinghealthcenters.html.