Nurse Turnover: Understand it, Reduce it

Franklin A. Shaffer, EdD, RN, FAAN, FFNMRCSI; Leah Curtin, ScD(h), RN, FAAN


Am Nurs Journal. 2020;15(8) 

In This Article

What Does Nurse Turnover Cost?

Costs associated with nurse turnover can have a huge impact on a hospital's profit margin. According to the 2019 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, published by Nursing Solutions, Inc., each percent change in nurse turnover will cost (or save) the average hospital an additional $328,400. The turnover rate for hospitals' bedside nurses grew to 17.2%. The average turnover costs result in hospitals losing $4.4 million to $6.9 million each year. The report also found that the average time it takes to fill a staff nursing position is 85 days (3 months or more for a specialized nursing position), costing about $82,000 (not counting the costs associated with overtime work by other nurses and time to onboard and train the new nurse).

In March 2016, Streamline Verify ranked healthcare as one of the top three professions with high turnover rates. It also found that 43% of newly licensed nurses who work in hospitals leave their jobs within 3 years, another 33.5% resign after 2 years, and 17.5% work for only 1 year. (To view an infographic of this data, visit