OBHG IMPACT SERIES:  Nursing Staff Satisfaction and Retention

By Jill Greywolfe on May 30th, 2014

In 2006 Dr. Chris Swain, Founder of Ob Hospitalist Group and the original architect of the Obstetric Emergency Department (OBED) created an innovative, OB/GYN hospitalist model much more comprehensive than the simple laborist staffing models available at that time.Since then, Ob Hospitalist Group’s (OBHG) mission is to elevate the standard and quality of women’s healthcare. Our programs do just that by making a positive impact across many significant areas of hospital medicine. This blog series: OBHG Impact Series will cover key areas where OBHG makes a difference.

This fifth post in the series, Nursing Staff Satisfaction and Retention will review the positive impact an OBHG program can deliver to partner hospitals by alleviating the stress nurses often face when having to make clinical decisions in the absence of a patient’s treating physician; thereby improving nursing staff satisfaction and reducing turnover, and preventing delays in care.   You can read the prior posts on Patient Safety, Patient Experience , Risk Reduction and Physician Satistfaction here. Our next post will review the positive impact an OBHG program can make on our partner hospitals’ Organizational Readiness.

Ob Hospitalist Group’s (OBHG) 24 hour a day, 365 days a year presence has a substantial positive impact on nursing and employee engagement at our partner hospitals. By improving nurse retention and strengthening the Labor & Delivery Unit, hospitals nationwide have seen OBHG programs improve departmental employee engagement, resulting in a reduction in turnover cost.

Nurse Retention
Without the presence of an OB/GYN, nurses sometimes have to make critical clinical decisions. With an OBHG hospitalist present, nurses can focus their attention on patient care, allowing the physicians to make the clinical decisions. Finally, physicians should be accessible to the nurses; nurses often feel conflicted about when to call a physician when they aren’t in the hospital. Having an OBHG hospitalist available to confer with ensures the nurse does not have to make time-sensitive clinical decisions on their own with fear of adverse outcomes or increased liability as a result of those decisions.

Nurse turnover rates have increased over the years and will likely grow even more in the coming years. It is predicted that there will be a shortage of nearly 1 million nurses in the United States by 2020.

Nurses site several reasons for career dissatisfaction:

  • Poor work environment
  • Bad relationships with physicians
  • Lack of trust and effective collaboration with co-workers
  • Not feeling respected and valued for their contributions and capabilities

Low staffing levels at hospitals cause nurses to feel over-worked and increase their stress levels. Nurses desire respect from physicians, as well as open and clear communication between themselves, physicians and administration.

It is estimated that nursing turnover costs between $22,000 and $64,000 per nurse, or 1.3 times their salary. Hospitals incur costs associated with advertising and recruitment of replacements, hiring costs, new staff training and orientation, as well as the cost of unfilled positions, such as overtime payments and temporary staffing.


By retaining nurses, hospitals can maintain or likely increase productivity. There are fewer errors and therefore an increase in quality of care for patients and patient satisfaction. Organizations with low turnover rates (between 4% and 12%) have lower risk-adjusted mortality and shorter lengths of stay for  patients than organizations with moderate (12-22%) or high (22-44%) turnover rates. Work environment and culture are improved, along with satisfaction, trust and accountability.

Strengthening the Labor & Delivery Unit

OBHG hospitalist programs strengthen the Labor and Delivery unit of a hospital. Our hospitalists often include nurses during their rounds, which allows nurses to have insight about patients’ conditions and needs, as well as enhances clinical skills of the nurses by learning from the physicians. Our hospitalists are there to happily answer any questions about patient care.

We invite you to discover more about OBHG and the advantages that our customized programs deliver to our partner hospitals, physicians and patients. An OBHG representative would be happy to answer any questions you have as well. Or schedule a consultation today!

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