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Reasons to Hire a Nurse with High Standards

Reasons to Hire a Nurse with High Standards

By: American Nurses Association

Her name was Dee. I watched her in awe. She was tall, nearly six feet in her stockings. A lanky frame and a no-nonsense ponytail complemented her down-to-earth manner and gentle demeanor.

I was in nursing school and working part-time as a nursing assistant in a busy medical surgical unit. Dee was one of the senior nurses on the floor. I loved to watch her as she whipped through hectic assignments with ease. Every med was given on time. Vitals q15 x4 hours? Done. A telltale change in the telemetry monitor? She was on it, assessing with calm confidence and calling the crash cart long before it was ever needed. With her around, very few of our patients coded. She always caught the ominous signs long before it got to that.

Dee was a legend. Even today, a decade later, I catch myself thinking about her and imitating her ways of putting patients at ease. I borrow her phrases. Most of all, I aim to hold myself to the same high standards that Dee had for herself.

Every headhunter and director of nursing looks for nurses like Dee. Nurses who embody the Scope and Standards and go above and beyond in their caregiving. Here are some of the reasons why they prefer to hire nurses who exemplify these competencies.

Patient mortality

Patient outcomes can be positively impacted by the quality of the nurses caring for them. This is the whole premise behind the prestigious Magnet™ Award.

Data from the Joint Commission indicates that nursing specific measures account for a large proportion of the variation in patient outcomes.

Hiring nurses with high standards means fewer people die. That is a pretty powerful motivator to hire for high standards, no matter how you look at it.


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that nursing turnover ranges from 15 to 36 percent annually. High nurse turnover rates negatively affect the ability of hospitals to meet patient needs and provide quality care.

Hiring nurses with high standards improves the work environment and decreases the likelihood of rapid turnover. This has a significant impact on both patient outcomes and financial cost to the institution.

Financial cost

The process of “on-boarding” a new hire can cost a hospital between $50,000 and $75,000 for the first year. With lower turnover, the cumulative cost of new hires will dramatically decrease.

Despite the high cost of training new hires, evidence suggests that facilities will benefit in the long run from increased staffing, as mortality and length-of-stay decreases. Obviously, these changes translate into more robust financial status.

Being a nurse of high performance leads to better patient outcomes, more robust finances, and a better work environment for nurses. However, most importantly of all, nursing is a profession based on personal integrity. It’s knowing that at the end of the day you’ve lived up to the Scope and Standards of Practice and done all you can to ensure the comfort, safety, and highest quality care for your patients.

Get your copy of the American Nurses Association’s Nursing Scope & Standards, 4th Edition. This recently revised book outlines the critical aspects of nursing, your role, and overarching tools for any level, environment, population, and specialty.

Categories: Career Advice, Individual Development

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