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 and the quality and safety of patient care. RNs are the most highly trained professionals that are regularly at patients' bedsides. They're 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 reduced productivity during those transitions. High turnover of RN staff may also affect morale and job satisfaction in nurses.

We believe our low nurse turnover rate reflects a hospital environment of experience, dedication and satisfaction. Retaining qualified RNs supports higher-quality patient care and leads to greater patient satisfaction.

How we compare

UCSF Benioff Oakland has the highest retention rate compared with 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.