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RNs with Lower Ratings and Fewer Individuals Who Comply with a Reference Request are 3.5 Times More Likely to be Terminated for Cause than Those with Higher Ratings and Greater Compliance

Lower Ratings on HCAHPS Behaviors Also Correlate with Turnover

Berwyn, PA – June 26, 2018 – With nursing shortages becoming more severe and nurse turnover estimated to cost organizations between $4.4 to $7 millioni annually for an average hospital, SkillSurvey is helping organizations access feedback from job references to get to know their job candidates better and hire more successfully. SkillSurvey’s data show nurse candidates with lower competency ratings from references and fewer references who comply with the reference request are 3.5 times more likely to be terminated for cause within one year of hire than those with higher ratings and greater reference compliance. SkillSurvey’s Analytics Team also finds that low ratings on HCAHPSii-related behaviors also correlate with being more likely to be terminated for cause within one year of hire.

The team has analyzed data from more than 10,000 registered nurses from 13 healthcare organizations who were reference checked with SkillSurvey ReferenceTM Pre-Hire 360® and followed post-hire for an average of 27.5 months. The top three reasons cited for termination were: performance (38.1%); misconduct (19.2%); and attendance (9.3%).

The team found that the job candidates who had less than 80% compliance with their request for a reference, and competency ratings in the 1st-5th percentile as compared to an RN norm group of over 200,000, were 3.5 times more likely to be terminated for cause as compared to those with reference compliance of more than 80% and competency ratings in the 35th-99th percentile.

“Turnover is a huge problem in the healthcare industry and it’s becoming even more burdensome and costly as nursing shortages expand. SkillSurvey can help healthcare organizations reduce potential turnover and get critical insights on their job candidates to find the top nurses who are committed to their jobs and to providing exceptional patient care, said Ray Bixler, SkillSurvey’s President and CEO.

Other insights provided through reference feedback:

As part of the Pre-Hire 360 reference process, the references of the job candidates provide responses in the form of ratings for 20-30 job-related behavioral competencies. The references can also provide written comments in response to questions about the candidate’s “strengths” and “areas of improvement.” These comments can further help employers identify training opportunities or role changes that may help candidates succeed in their new jobs. Below are some of the top comments that references provided on RN job candidates that the SkillSurvey team recently published in the peer-reviewed journal, Personnel Assessment and Decisions.

Top comments provided for entry-level nurses (new graduates):

• Compassionate/caring
• Dependable/reliable/meets deadlines
• Attitude/energy

Areas of improvement:
• Confidence/assertiveness
• Experience
• Time management/prioritizing

Top comments provided for experienced nurses included:

• Patient care
• Team orientation
• Dependable/reliable/meets deadlines

Areas of improvement:
• Further education
• Confidence/assertiveness
• Knowledge

SkillSurvey’s job-specific surveys for RN roles

SkillSurvey’s survey library has more than 180 job-specific surveys that map to over 3,500 job titles in healthcare, including sixteen surveys that are specific to nursing positions:

1. Advanced Practice RNs
2. Advanced Practice RNs (New Grads)
3. Clinical Educator
4. Clinical Nurse Specialist
5. CRNA (Nurse Anesthetist)
6. Entry-Level RNs (New Grads)
7. Occupational Health Nurse
8. Patient Care Specialist
9. RN Case Manager
10. RN
12. RN Per Diem
14. Transplant Coordinator
15. Travel Nurse
16. Visiting Nurse

About SkillSurvey®

SkillSurvey applies the science of human behavior and harnesses the power of insights and data to create a fuller picture of the people you recruit and hire. SkillSurvey makes the referencing and credentialing process more efficient and effective — helping employers save time and money, grow revenues, and bring employees onboard faster. Visit SkillSurvey at, and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

SkillSurvey® is a registered trademark of SkillSurvey Inc. or its affiliates and registered in the U.S. and other countries.

©2018 SkillSurvey Inc. and its affiliates.

Media Contact:

Stephanie Sabath

Sloane & Company

(212) 446-1873

[i] 2018 Healthcare Retention and RN Staffing Report,

[ii] HCAHPS is the federal government’s survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients’ perceptions of their hospital experience. See