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Keywords:

  • employment;
  • focus groups;
  • hospital nurses;
  • nursing workforce;
  • theory development;
  • work environments

tourangeau a.e., cummings g., cranley l.a., ferron e.m. & harvey s. (2010) Determinants of hospital nurse intention to remain employed: broadening our understanding. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(1), 22–32.

Abstract

Title.  Determinants of hospital nurse intention to remain employed: broadening ourunderstanding.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to identify nurse reported determinants of intention to remain employed and to develop a model explaining determinants of hospital nurse intention to remain employed.

Background.  A worsening shortage of nurses globally suggests that efforts must be made to promote retention of nurses. However, effective retention promotion strategies depend on understanding the factors influencing nurse retention.

Methods.  A descriptive study using focus group methodology was implemented. Thirteen focus groups including 78 nurses were carried out in two Canadian provinces in 2007. Thematic analysis strategies were incorporated to analyse the data.

Findings.  Eight thematic categories reflecting factors nurses described as influencing their intentions to remain employed emerged from focus groups: (1) relationships with co-workers, (2) condition of the work environment, (3) relationship with and support from one’s manager, (4) work rewards, (5) organizational support and practices, (6) physical and psychological responses to work, (7) patient relationships and other job content, and (8) external factors. A model of determinants of hospital nurse intention to remain employed is hypothesized.

Conclusion.  Findings were both similar to and different from previous research. The overriding concept of job satisfaction was not found. Rather, nurse assessments of satisfaction within eight thematic categories were found to influence intentions to remain employed. Further testing of the hypothesized model is required to determine its global utility. Understanding determinants of intention to remain employed can lead to development of strategies that strengthen nurse retention. Incorporation of this knowledge in nurse education programmes is essential.