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AGH Participates In Partners In Nursing Final Convention

The local collaboration included AGH, PRMC, Salisbury University, and Wor-Wic Community College, with funding sourced through the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. Colleen Wareing, vice president of patient care services at Atlantic General Hospital, and Erica Joseph, president of the Community Foundation, attended the event to share the successes achieved here on the Eastern Shore.

As a Robert Wood Johnson PIN collaborative, the local partners received more than $250,000 to initiate a mentoring strategy to reduce new nurse turnover and exit from the profession. In addition, the group planned to increase the interest in performing local clinical faculty roles.

This collaboration was able to reduce turnover from a national rate of 28 percent to less than 10 percent. The PIN program, as part of the regional group, concluded in 2012. However, AGH has continued its mentor program, through the hospital’s Education Department and the interdisciplinary associate-led Education and Work Environment Council.

“Through mentoring, we reduced our turnover of nurses leaving AGH and, most importantly, reduced the number of nurses leaving the profession,” said Wareing. For every nurse who leaves an acute care hospital, it is estimated that the cost for replacement, including recruiting, hiring, training and onboarding, is at least $40,000 and can be as high as $60,000 for specialty services such as the operating room.

Additionally, by focusing on retention through mentoring and other initiatives, patients benefit by having experienced nurses familiar with the AGH mission, vision and values, as well as best practices. By meeting regularly with their mentor, the program positively impacts nurse’s job satisfaction. Currently, AGH has over forty trained mentors to help new hires acclimate to their duties and bond with the organization; nearly half are RNs.

Recent studies published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine NIH and the Journal of Nursing Care Quality found that nursing units with low levels of turnover were likely to have fewer patient falls, increased workgroup learning led to fewer occurrences of severe medication errors, and hospital-acquired pneumonia and UTI prevalence were lower.

“It was an honor to represent the Eastern Shore as a nursing professional in partnership with our local Community Foundation. Without them our partnership would have been impossible to fund, and they continue to demonstrate a commitment to the health of our communities through their leadership and financial support of many community agencies,” said Wareing.

About Atlantic General Hospital

Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) Counties since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of adedicated community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md. combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology and services. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 25 primary care provider and specialist offices, care for residents and visitors throughout the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit