Clint Koerkenmeier Talks Nurse Retention Strategies in Oncology


Clint Koerkenmeier, MHS, BSN, RN, shares which strategies his institution leverages to support oncology nurse employees.

In this episode of The Vitals, Clint Koerkenmeier, MHS, BSN, RN, joins Oncology Nursing News® to discuss retention strategies at his institution.

Koerkenmeier is associate nursing officer at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which is a National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center which recently received its fourth Magnet Recognition and was named best place to work by the American Association for Men in Nursing.1,2

As Koerkenmeier points out in the discussion, Vanderbilt is home to multiple initiatives intended to improve nurse satisfaction and support lateral career development. Some of these programs include a tuition reimbursement program, where nurses can receive up to $8000 a year for their education, Daisy awards, and certification support. The center also sponsors staff whose abstracts are selected for the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress. This year 13 Vanderbilt nurses presented their research at the ONS Congress, according to Koerkenmeier.

Lastly, Koerkenmeier explains how the Vanderbilt Professional Nurse Practice Program (VPNPP) improves nurse satisfaction at his institution.

“It helps us to retain nurses, because they know that they can grow here without having to leave,” he says.

We want to hear from you! How does your institution boost nurse enthusiasm and retain employees? Email

Episode Highlights

“We started a specific oncology orientation, to give people the backstory of the of the cancer center and our 13 locations. We think it is important to make sure that they see and are reminded that they are part of something bigger than just being a Vanderbilt nurse. It helps you remind us of the mission, [of] why we all went into nursing, and [of] why we are in oncology.” Time stamp (TS) 2:56

“Another thing we do is leadership rounds. The associate operating officer and I will round through the clinics weekly, to talk about what we can do differently, what the frontline staff need and [if] nothing else, make sure they know that we are here for them.” TS 5:39

“[The VPNPP] gives us a carrot to help encourage our nurses to get certified. We pay for the certification, but then we also give them a raise for it.” TS 7:37

Oncology Nursing News Online Articles:

  1. After Recruiting Oncology Nurses, Focus on Retention
  2. Structured Onboarding Processes Boost Employee Retention
  3. Uncracking the Code on Oncology Nurse Satisfaction During a Magnet® Journey
  4. Recruitment and Retention Efforts Address Oncology Nursing Shortage

The Vitals Podcast:

  1. The Value of Nurse Mentorship in Oncology
  2. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Oncology Nursing Leadership

Video Interviews

  1. Elizabeth Loach on Integrating Frontline Staff in Nursing Task Forces
  2. Aliènne Salleroli on Starting the DEI Conversation in Oncology Nursing


  1. Our magnet designation. Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Accessed June 29, 2023.
  2. Batcheldor M. VUMC named best workplace for men in nursing. Accessed June 29, 2023.
  3. Vanderbilt professional nursing practice program (VPNPP). Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Accessed June 29, 2023.

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