Aim To examine an employer response to a government employment policy, the Nursing Graduate Guarantee (NGG), over a 2-year period (2008–2009 and 2009–2010).
Background Healthcare organizations rely on a stable supply of nurses to meet their staffing needs. However, employment trends have indicated a propensity for part-time employment. The NGG was created to stimulate full-time employment of new graduate nurses in Ontario, Canada.
Methods A mixed methods design was used, which included online surveys and focus groups. All healthcare providers (n = 1198) were surveyed in 2008–2009 and 2009–2010. Each year, a sample of NGG employers participated in sector-specific focus groups.
Results Approximately 20% of potential healthcare employers participated in the NGG. Reasons for non-participation included lack of awareness of the initiative and lack of full-time jobs. Barriers to offering full-time employment to new graduates included lack of full-time vacancies and budget constraints.
Conclusions Employers perceive flexible staffing practices as a way to contain personnel costs but often at the expense of a stable full-time nursing workforce.
Implications for Nursing Management This research contributes to an understanding of employers’ perspectives on full-time hiring and participation in a government employment policy.