How a Clinical Ladder Program Can Assist in Retaining Nurses

by: Olivia Smith

This past February, the California Future Health Workforce Commission delivered a report (source) describing recommendations to meet healthcare demands and maintain the workforce needed currently, and for the future.

While the report is tailored specifically to issues across California, it is no surprise that healthcare facilities across the U.S. are facing like issues with retaining existing workforce and attracting new talent. The ongoing nursing shortage and the aging population crisis is impacting communities nationally.

The report outlines several key strategies for professional engagement and recruitment:

  1. Increase opportunities to advance within the health professions
  2. Align and expand education and training
  3. Strengthen the capacity, retention, and effectiveness

A Clinical Ladder program provides nurses with the opportunity for professional development and encourages job satisfaction. Through the implementation of a Clinical Ladder program, you can give your existing nursing workforce access to education opportunities, clinical training, and patient-centric practices to utilize. Through focusing on the development of your existing nursing workforce, you can accurately address issues around minimizing burnout and maximize utilizing nurses efficiently.

How Does StaffGarden Come Into Play?

Through discussions with hospital executives focused on enhancing and retaining their current nursing workforce, we’ve been able to develop an integrative, efficient Clinical Ladder platform that allows nursing professionals and leadership to engage and advance 100% online. Our application is centered around these three cornerstones:

  1. Ease of use: Our platform is easy for nurses of all levels to navigate. They can access their Clinical Ladder portal from any device and everything is managed within the application, eliminating the purpose of a 3-ring binder or multiple shared spreadsheets/documents.
  2. Trackable: Nurse users are able to easily see how they are progressing through their program, as the platform is able to build out items like Requirements, Check-ups, Prerequisites, Projects, and Notes. This allows for users to stay on track, while allowing leadership to run reports and be able to measure the success of the program and the participants within a single dashboard.
  3. Adaptable: Whether your team is 5 or 500, our platform has the capacity to be centered on your programs intricacies to make it a success. Everything is developed solely in-house, and we can make any adjustments necessary.

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, a leading Orange County, CA hospital, started utilizing our cloud application in 2017. Erin B., a Clinical Ladder Champion within her unit, has this to say about the platform: “The new system provides a way to support nurses in real-time, and I am able to see who has turned in their updates and who has not,” Erin shares. “It’s very quick and allows me to touch base with everyone digitally without having to pull them aside during a busy work day. I can support them without taking up valuable clinical time. It also allows me to speak to their interests and ideas as things occur, rather than a week later when I can see them.”

Not only is a Nurse Ladder program an effective tool for retaining and engaging your existing workforce, it also provides an incentive to prospective employees – by presenting this benefit or ‘perk’ to them, you’re making it known that your organization is focused on their development and satisfaction, which in turn can give you a clear advantage in a very competitive market.

As the California Future Health Workforce Commission’s report states, the nursing shortage is only set to grow with time. By focusing part of your efforts on engaging and retaining your existing nurses, you’re able to take control of your own shortage, while providing incoming nurses with the support and satisfaction they need. With an engaged and highly effective clinical workforce, one can only imagine the upside for the patients and your HCAHPS.

You owe it to your organization to learn more about the only professional advancement software for nurses available on the market today.



Olivia Smith

Olivia Smith

Digital Marketing Manager @ StaffGarden

Olivia is the passionate about connecting awesome nurses to new opportunities through creative digital marketing. In her spare time, you can catch her at a local coffee shop or with her 2 dogs.

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