Nurse turnover is a complex problem for the nursing profession, especially in the behavioral health setting, where turnover rates are higher than the overall RN national average. The consequences of high nurse turnover include increased health costs, low-quality patient care, and staffing constraints. The association between nurse turnover and job satisfaction is profound because of their reciprocal relationship; therefore, implementing an intervention to help mitigate nurse dissatisfaction is essential to overcoming nurse turnover. Flexible scheduling is an intervention that gives nurses independence with their schedule which improves work-life balance and promotes nurse retention (Wright, 2017). The following PICOT question was thus developed: In registered nurses working in behavioral health (P), how does implementing flexible scheduling (I), compared to traditional scheduling (C), affect job satisfaction over three months (T)? Based on a systematic review and critical appraisal of the literature, flexible scheduling was implemented in a behavioral health setting with a nurse turnover rate of 31.22% at the start of the project. The goal was to decrease RN turnover rates by 5%, improve job satisfaction by 7%, and reduce absences by 12%. Five months after implementation of flexible scheduling, there was a 52.4% decrease in RN turnover rate, 33.33% improvement in job satisfaction, and 28.6% decrease in absences. The evidence-based intervention of flexible scheduling was successful in the unit in which it was implemented, which increases the potential for expanding and sustaining the changes.

Date of publication


Document Type

DNP Scholarly Project



Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Lauri John, Dr. Cheryl Parker


Doctor of Nursing Practice