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Interventions that promote retention of experienced registered nurses in health care settings: a systematic review

Authors

  • Sarah Lartey BScN, MN, RN,

    Care Manager
    1. Primary Care & Chronic Disease Management – Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, AB, Canada
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  • Greta Cummings PhD, RN, FCAHS,

    Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
    • Correspondence

      Greta G. Cummings

      Faculty of Nursing

      University of Alberta

      Edmonton Clinic Health Academy

      11405-87 Avenue

      Edmonton

      AB, Canada T6G 1C9

      E-mail: gretac@ualberta.ca

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  • Joanne Profetto-McGrath PhD, RN

    Professor & Vice-Dean
    1. Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this review was to report the effectiveness of strategies for retaining experienced Registered Nurses.

Background

Nursing researchers have noted that the projected nursing shortage, if not rectified, is expected to affect healthcare cost, job satisfaction and quality patient care. Retaining experienced nurses would help to mitigate the shortage, facilitate the transfer of knowledge and provision of quality care to patients.

Evaluation

A systematic review of studies on interventions that promote the retention of experienced Registered Nurses in health care settings.

Key issues

Twelve studies were included in the final analysis. Most studies reported improved retention as a result of the intervention. Team work and individually targeted strategies including mentoring, leadership interest and in-depth orientation increased job satisfaction and produced higher retention results.

Conclusions

Few published studies have examined interventions that promote the retention of experienced Registered Nurses in healthcare. Retention was highest when multiple interventions were used. Further research is needed to inform nurse leaders of ways to retain nurses and to maintain quality care in health care settings.

Implications for nursing management and leadership

Programmes targeting the retention of experienced nurses need to be considered when implementing measures to decrease the nursing shortage and its effects on quality care.

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