NYU Langone Health has long enjoyed an outstanding reputation, not only for its quality nursing care but also for being a desirable place for nurses to work. That’s as true today as ever. The institution’s turnover and vacancy rates for nurses are significantly lower than the national average. Since the first quarter of 2021, our nursing staff has increased by nearly 16 percent institution-wide, with 1,100 new positions created beyond those hires that filled vacancies. With the highest orientation rate in nearly 3 years—more than 550 nurses are currently in orientation—the numbers will get even better.
“Our quantity is matched by our quality,” says Debra Albert, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer and senior vice president for patient care services. “We have a nursing workforce that is more experienced, more educated, and more loyal to our institution than the national average.” These qualities help explain why NYU Langone is the only health system in New York State to have earned the prestigious Magnet® recognition for all of its inpatient locations. Magnet® designation, awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, is achieved by only 9.4 percent of hospitals in the United States.
NYU Langone’s strong workplace culture is its greatest recruitment and retention tool for nursing, Dr. Albert notes, but she emphasizes that a host of progressive initiatives have also bolstered their success. The latest of these is a nurse manager succession planning program, recognized by experts as one of the keys to mitigating nursing shortages. Nurse managers ensure that clinical units run smoothly, and they play a pivotal role in helping to prevent burnout. Succession planning, one component of a larger strategic plan to develop, retain, and support nurses, identifies qualified candidates for these leadership positions.
NYU Langone is in a select group: fewer than 7 percent of healthcare institutions in the United States have developed a formal plan of this type. “A big area of opportunity is within the nurse manager role,” says Eileen Magri, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, senior director of nursing at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island, who leads the Succession Planning Committee.
The program prioritizes mentorship to help nurse leaders from minority groups advance into executive roles. Dewi DeVeaux, DNP, RN, senior director of patient engagement and experience at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, created a mentorship program for her doctoral project, conducting a pilot study on two of our campuses. Eventually, this initiative was folded into a larger strategy to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, which includes increasing diversity within the nursing leadership team. “Succession planning maintains a primed pipeline of knowledgeable nursing staff in the workforce,” says Dr. Magri. “This ultimately affects quality, safety, and patient outcomes.”