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Keywords:

  • career development;
  • education and training;
  • grounded theory;
  • nursing work time

Aim  To develop a theory that explains the ‘realities’ of part-time nursing.

Background  While little is known about the phenomenon of part-time nursing, increasing numbers of nurses work in part-time employment.

Methods  Grounded theory.

Results  The problem that part-time nurses shared was an inability to achieve their personal optimal nursing potential. Motivators to work part-time, employment hours, specialty, individual and organizational factors formed contextual conditions that led to this problem. Part-time nurses responded to the challenges through a process of adaptation and adjustment.

Conclusion  Harnessing the full productive potential of part-time nurses requires support to limit the difficulties that they encounter. The developed theory provides a valuable guide to managerial action.

Implications for nursing practice  Nurse Managers need to consider the developed substantive theory when planning and managing nursing workforces.