• community care;
  • database analysis;
  • literature review;
  • older nurses;
  • primary care;
  • retention;
  • nursing workforce


Title. Retention of nurses in the primary and community care workforce after theage of 50 years: database analysis and literature review.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study conducted to explore strategies for retaining nurses and their implications for the primary and community care nursing workforce.

Background.  An ageing nursing workforce has forced the need for recruitment and retention of nurses to be an important feature of workforce planning in many countries. However, whilst there is a growing awareness of the factors that influence the retention of nurses within secondary care services, little is known about those that influence retention of nurses in primary and community care. Little is known about the age profile of such nurses or the impact of the ageing nursing workforce on individual nursing specialities in the England.

Methods.  Nursing databases were analysed to explore the impact of age on nursing specialities in primary and community care. The nurse retention literature was reviewed from 1995 to 2006.

Findings.  Workforce statistics reveal that primary and community care nurses have a higher age profile than the National Health Service nursing workforce as a whole. However, there are important gaps in the literature in relation to the factors influencing retention of older primary and community care nurses. Specific factors exist for older nurses within primary care that are unique. Implications for their retention are suggested.

Conclusion.  Particular attention needs to be paid to factors influencing retention of older nurses in primary and community care. These factors need to be incorporated into local and national policy planning and development.