Retention of Our Registered Nurse Work Force

Retaining a stable and adequate supply of nurses is an important hospital and national concern. We measure the rate at which registered nurses (RNs) providing direct patient care remain employed at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, along with the rate at which RNs leave the hospital.

Why We Measure

The Registered Nurse Retention and Turnover Rates offer a reflection of hospital nursing care. The 2004 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment for Nurses, emphasizes the inseparable link between the skills and availability of nurses to the quality and safety of patient care. RNs are the most highly trained professionals regularly at patients’ bedsides. They are central in delivering and influencing the quality of patient care.

The inability to retain qualified RNs can result in the loss of experienced, skilled and knowledgeable staff, and lowered productivity during those transitions. High turnover of RN staff may also impact nurse morale and job satisfaction.

We believe that our low nurse turnover rate represents a hospital environment of experience, dedication and satisfaction. Retaining qualified RN’s supports higher quality patient care and leads to greater patient satisfaction.

How We Compare


Children’s has the highest retention rate compared to 25 pediatric hospitals across the nation, since the comparison data became available in July 2008. RN Retention and Turnover are measured and reported every three months for each nursing department. We determine the rates by comparing the total number of RNs (FTEs or full time equivalents) who remain employed and who left the hospital for any reason to the average number of RN positions for the time period.

What We Are Doing to Improve

At Children’s, we have consistently attained exceptionally high RN retention rates. While our retention rates rank at the top, new and ongoing efforts are continually made to create and strengthen rewarding work environments, internal job opportunities and nursing satisfaction.

Marcia Drumright, RN, BSN, PHN"I love my job at Children’s Hospital Oakland.  The people that make the Bay Area so interesting are the same people I work with and care for.  My co-workers are smart, caring, supportive team members doing a very important job.  Not only do we do a great job caring for ill children and their stressed families, we care for each other as well.  Recently, I helped set up an off-site medical unit and work mainly with younger nurses.  Mentoring new nurses and watching them grow in their skills and confidence is very rewarding. I love where I live and love where I work and what I do.  It doesn't get any better than that!"

Marcia Drumright, RN, BSN, PHN
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland

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Retention of Our Registered Nurse Work Force