342 - Recruitment and Retention of New Circulating Nurses
Description: The operating room is a unique environment and most nurses will require extensive training to be RN Circulators, regardless of their previous nursing experience. Our hospital offers a 6 month training program that includes the AORN Periop 101 package as well as classroom time, simulation, and time with a preceptor. Nurses are hired into our program and paid full time wages and benefits. In the best case, the pay off on this investment is a dedicated circulator who will stay in the department for many years. After several newly trained nurses left our program, either before it was complete, or soon after, our team knew we had to look closely at our program and determine how to better secure our investment in training these nurses. We developed 4 specific components for hiring and training. Recruitment: Many nurses have little or no experience in the operating room. Circulating is a unique role and applicants would be better informed if they could have some exposure to the role. We began inviting interested nurses to shadow one of our circulators for 4 hours. They could observe the role and the environment before deciding to apply.Selection: Our interview process was evaluated and fortified using behavior based interview techniques and included assessment of grit and backbone. Commitment: Upon hire the new team member signed a letter of commitment to remain in our department for a minimum of 2 years after completion of their six month training.Components of Psychological Safety and Emotional First Aid were incorporated into weekly debriefings. After implementing and refining these 4 steps we saw a vast improvement in retention of our newly trained circulating nurses.