Staff nurse turnover in neonatal intensive care units



The turnover rate and patterns in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) were assessed and compared with adult Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and General Infant Care Units at the same hospitals for the year 1976.

Thirty-five hospitals with NICUs participated in the study. The findings of this study disagree with the previous literature in three major ways:

  • 1The turnover rate of staff nurses was less than half that estimated by The National Commission on Nursing for 1970.
  • 2The turnover rates in ICUs and NICUs were not significantly higher than that for staff nurses in Non-Intensive Care Units. In addition, the pattern of turnover among leavers is identical for all three major types of unit. The variability pattern for neonatal units, however, is statistically significant; this is not so with the other units studied.
  • 3There is no evidence for a stabilization of turnover following the usual ‘induction crisis period’ (the first 3 to 6 months).