Introduction: Working overtime, absenteeism and agency use can negatively impact working environments, the health of staff and patient outcomes, and increase healthcare costs. The purpose of this study was to explore how healthcare leaders in Ontario hospitals implement and sustain best practices that advance workforce stability within their organization. Methods: Qualitative study design using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. Results: Participants included 23 healthcare leaders from 16 hospital sites. Two main themes emerged: (1) enacting proactive human resource practices and (2) having strong, caring and strategic leaders that create learning and supportive work environments. A number of sub-themes identified were reported through narratives stratified according to size (small/large) and performance (low/high) of each site. Conclusion: Insights gained from this study may offer healthcare leaders strategies to maximize the nursing workforce and minimize overtime, absenteeism and agency use to ensure safe, efficient and quality healthcare.
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