How Much Does it Cost Your Employer When You Quit?

When you quit your last job, did you think about the implications the move had for your employer? When I departed from my previous nurse practitioner positions, I was ready to leave, STAT. I had held onto the jobs about as long as I could handle, and upon securing new employment could not wait to get out the door. Looking back, my attitude could have been better. And, I should have looked at the transition with a broader perspective. 

Leaving a job is never easy, neither for the nurse practitioner or the employer. One issue many NPs aren’t aware of is the financial burden provider turnover places on a practice. 

The rate of turnover among nurse practitioners and physician assistants is over 12%. That’s almost twice the rate of that for physicians, according to a 2011 Physician Retention Survey. Practices feel the impact of NPs and PAs leaving a practice. Turnover costs employers in the following ways: 

  1. Lost revenue related to the unfilled position
  2. Cost of recruiting a new NP/PA (advertising, interview costs, HR employees’ time)
  3. Cost of hiring a new provider (relocation, sign-on bonus, decreased productivity during training, employee time to train/onboard new provider)

Looking at a simplified financial scenario, a vacant nurse practitioner conservatively costs a clinic $1,500/day or more in lost revenue potential. Consider a scenario where a nurse practitioner works 8 hours/day treating 3 patients per hour. If these patient visits are each assigned a 99213, basic office visit CPT code, and the visit is billed to Medicare, the NP stands to generate about $1,490 in revenue for the clinic each day. The longer the position remains open, the higher the cost to your former employer. Assuming the scenario above, a nurse practitioner position left open for three months results in $89,352 or more in lost revenue. 

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NP vacancies aren’t only resulting in lost revenue. The cost of hiring and onboarding a new nurse practitioner must also be taken into account. The Center for American Progress estimates the cost of replacing an employee at about 20% of the employee’s annual salary. For nurse practitioners with an average salary of about $100,000, this means the added financial impact of more than $20,000 to the practice. The Center for American Progress also notes that this cost is even higher for professions requiring advanced education and specialized training such as that of nurse practitioners. 

Not only does turnover result in tangible financial losses to your employer, it places stress on the practice and your former coworkers. Turnover places additional workload on existing providers leading to job dissatisfaction and perhaps turnover among other established employees as well.

As a nurse practitioner, you must look out for your own personal and professional interests. Transition is a natural part of a career as an NP and will be required from time to time. Before you leave your job, however, consider the implications the move has for both yourself and your employer. Small actions based on this understanding can make the transition smoother and less costly for both parties involved and often requires little effort on part of the NP. Ending the employment relationship on a positive note is always in your best interest. 


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