• nurses;
  • job satisfaction retention;
  • home health care;
  • model

Background.  Predicted severe nursing shortages and an increasing demand for home health care services have made the retention of experienced, qualified nursing staff a priority for health care organizations.

Aims.  The purpose of this paper is to describe a theoretical model of job retention for home health care nurses.

Methods.  The theoretical model is an integration of the findings of empirical research related to intent to stay and retention, components of Neal's theory of home health care nursing practice and findings from earlier work to develop an instrument to measure home health care nurses’ job satisfaction.

Discussion.  The theoretical model identifies antecedents to job satisfaction of home health care nurses. The antecedents are intrinsic and extrinsic job characteristics. The model also proposes that job satisfaction is directly related to retention and indirectly related to retention though intent to stay. Individual nurse characteristics are indirectly related to retention through intent to stay. The individual characteristic of tenure is indirectly related to retention through autonomy, as an intrinsic characteristic of job satisfaction, and intent to stay.

Conclusions.  The proposed model can be used to guide research that explores gaps in knowledge about intent to stay and retention among home health care nurses.