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Keywords:

  • management;
  • nursing;
  • organizational behaviour;
  • quantitative approaches;
  • workforce issues

Abstract

Title. Nurses’ leaving intentions: antecedents and mediating factors.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to investigate how nurses’ work values, perceptions of environmental characteristics, and organizational commitment are related to their leaving intentions.

Background.  Nurse leaving is a serious international problem as it contributes to the nursing shortage that threatens the welfare of society. The characteristics of nurses, the work environment and nurses’ feelings towards their jobs (or organizations) have an impact on their leaving intentions.

Method.  A convenience sample of 849 Registered Nurses was recruited from three public hospitals in the central-west region of Japan during 2006 and 319 completed questionnaires were returned (response rate 39%). Data were analysed using regression analysis.

Findings.  Nurses’ work values and their perceptions of their workplace environment interacted to influence leaving intentions. When there was a match between the importance nurses placed on being able to challenge current clinical practices and the number of the actual opportunities to do so, leaving intentions were low. When there was a mismatch, intention to quit the job became stronger. In addition, organizational commitment intervened between nurses’ perceptions of the match in clinical challenges and leaving intention.

Conclusion.  Nurses’ leaving intentions, deserve extensive exploration of their causes. Such exploration should include attending to both nurses’ needs and organizational characteristics, investigating how the match between them could affect nurses’ leaving intention, and exploring factors that intervene between nurses’ perceptions of the match and leaving intention.