A nurse is training a junior nurse on how to inject the COVID-19 vaccine

For healthcare organizations, it feels like nurses are leaving the bedside in droves. Becker’s Hospital Review states nearly 18% of healthcare workers have quit their jobs and 12% have been laid off since early 2020. An even heavier statistic: 31% of the healthcare workers who kept their jobs considered leaving. Some of the top reasons include the pandemic, desire for increased compensation and better benefits, or burnout.

With new COVID–19 variants spreading and an increase in recent hospitalizations, now is not the time for your nurses to leave your facility, especially if you’ve invested in training them from new grads into the experienced staff needed for quality patient care. It can cost nearly $90,000 total to replace just one nurse if you include the investment in recruitment, orientation, and training.

So, how do you get new nurses trained, engaged, and motivated to work in a pandemic when they likely have never been exposed to a COVID-19 patient before their first job? It is imperative now more than ever to set them up for success.

SimpliFi CAP program logo

To enhance the new grad onboarding experience, SimpliFi created the Confidence Accelerating Practice (CAP) program, which enables health systems to build their nursing workforce of the future while better retaining experienced RNs.

“We focus on building confidence in the new grad, which in turn builds their competence through focused skill development, dedicated preceptorship, and investment in their onboarding experience,” said SimpliFi’s Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Bambi Gore, MSN, FNP-BC.

Much of an onboarding program’s success is tied to the preceptor. With CAP, SimpliFi vets and places a qualified preceptor on the unit. This preceptor is solely dedicated to training new nurses instead of being overwhelmed with both onboarding and a full patient load. This undivided attention helps preceptors adjust to the graduates’ pace to answer questions and demonstrate techniques, ensuring the new nurses understand procedures. In turn, the preceptor doesn’t feel burned out from a heavy workload.

“The gradual integration into nursing care really helped my nurses become confident and proficient,” said one preceptor. “They were able to build a strong foundation, which then supported them through more difficult learning experiences. We actually had time to communicate, improve skills, and practice critical thinking.”

The CAP program has seen success in multiple health systems. One organization reported a 20.5% increase in nurse residents’ confidence by the end of the program. At another health system, confidence scores soared 34% for CAP residents compared to only 2% in the legacy program. After one year, the health system has retained 94% of the new grads who went through CAP. The praise for CAP is heard at every level: from new grad RNs to nurse executives.

“This program was really helpful starting as a new nurse,” said one resident. “I did not feel rushed and could learn more than just being thrown in with a six-patient assignment.”

“CAP allowed for individualized, focused attention to the early development of the new nurse and engaged the preceptors to a different level,” said a unit manager.

The CAP program is also unique in that it bridges the gap between nurse executives and new nurses. SimpliFi acts as the liaison between executives and nurses on the unit and gives leadership visibility into the new grads’ accomplishments.

“Leadership feels more invested in their success,” Gore explained. “SimpliFi has found that new grads also feel that leadership recognizes their accomplishments and is invested in their success, which also leads to higher retention rates in the CAP program.”

With CAP, SimpliFi’s intent is to increase your team’s bandwidth and provide a structured and supportive approach to onboarding new nurses. The program is not a one-size-fits-all approach but is customized to fit the unique demands of each health system. If you’d like to hear more about SimpliFi’s CAP program and how it can help you, contact us.