Why Registered Nurses Stop Working in Healthcare Industry – Care Example

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

"Why Registered Nurses Stop Working in Healthcare Industry" is an outstanding example of a paper on care. According to Rogers (2008), retention management is the ability to hold onto those employees needed to keep longer in the company than your competitors. Silverman (2009), on the other hand, argues that retention is keeping those employees who keep you in business. The idea that employers should retain and develop their human resources in order to obtain competitive advantage is one of the core believes of human resource literature today Streubert, & Carpenter, 2010.

The high cost that comes with turnover has highlighted the need for organizations to make attrition and retention of staff a number one priority. This is not the case in nursing only but also applies to other careers and industries where a shortage of staff is experienced. Mapp (2008) argues that retention is preventing people from leaving an organization to work elsewhere. Polit & Beck (2010) found out that nurses change their work environment due to dissatisfaction with their current situation, but not with the profession itself. Professional nurses stated categorically that they "love their work but hate their job".

This and other similar statements imply that creating a favorable environment in the workplace situation could help retain professional nurses in their posts, thus enhancing the quality of patient care. According to the CFWI briefing on future nursing workforce projections, there is a need to increase retention of new nurse graduates and retaining current staff by encouraging older staff to delay retirement and encouraging staff to work closer to full time. According to Duffield et al. 2011, early signs of departure are strong predictors of actual behavior.

However, factors that have an impact on nurse intention to leave can be modified to potentially reduce the number of nurses who intend to leave. Munhall. , 2007 argues that stress and burnout are some of the factors which make nurses want to leave, the primary goal should be to minimize burnout or stop burnout completely by preventing the accumulation of stress. Munhall, 2007 further argues that when implemented appropriately preventing burnout is cost-effective and easier than resolving it when it occurs. Bland and Gates 2007, point out that central to retaining nurses in any organization is the development of a supportive working environment that will prevent nurses from leaving and their intention to leave.

Nurses who are psychologically engaged and actively involved in an organization report lower intention to leave their present job Hunter & Nicol 2002. Determining the baseline of turnover job dissatisfaction, stress, and the proportions of nurses that intent to leave is of great importance in targeting and formulating strategies for a particular nursing unit in order to improve retention and prevent nurses leaving, Moule 2009.

Strategies to retain nurses are cheaper than recruitment strategies. Having a leadership of an organization that is committed to nursing retention and staff who focus on maintaining and developing nurse relationships with nurses and their retention is likely to reduce nurse turnover Duffield et al. 2011. Duffield et al. 2011 further argue that many options in improving job satisfaction and reducing burnout will require consistent leadership to unblocking workplace issues, developing the right culture, and providing the resources required. Moore 2001, put forward that effective leadership of the nursing unit is critical in improving nurse satisfaction.

The provision of a positive working environment will go a long way in improving nurse turnover. Developing nurses as leaders requires organizational leadership from nurse executives with opportunities for growth. Moore 2001, further argues that the focus should be on developing nurses as people managers, praising them, providing feedback and skills to identify and act on poor performance. Hunter & Nicol 2002 on the other hand argues that line managers should ensure individuals career goals, personal values are aligned to the organization, have the ability and skills to carry out roles.

Poor performance and behaviors should be managed timely and effectively. Another factor that will discourage nurse turnover according to Boswell, and Cannon 2010, is providing flexible scheduling options nursing being a 24hour job requires constant review of unsociable shift hours to reduce stress. Clinical leaders should be provided with tools to enable them to engage staff in decision making, and to develop scheduling that supports a work/life balance as much as possible. Van den Heede et al 2013 argue that developing and continuing staff engagement is important in retaining nurses in an organization.

Organizations with a participative mode of management have low staff turnover. Management should make use of staff engagement techniques as well as means and mechanisms for communication and staff voicing concerns for example providing anonymous suggestions and carrying out surveys. Van den Heede et al 2013 further argue that stress management techniques to ensure psychological wellbeing should be made a priority for organizations as well as individuals. This helps is stress management in the early stages.

Gardner 1992, on his part, puts forward that focusing on newly qualified nurses is very important. This is because many nurses stay due to commitment to nursing, however, commitment to nursing is not strong in the first few years of service and organizational factors play a critical role in influencing nurse turnover. Providing peer support networks, and preceptorship could help in reducing the turnover of newly qualified nurses. Newly qualified nurses benefit a lot from a period of supported and structured preceptorship, which in the long run translates to improved retention and recruitment for the employing organizations.

Supporting newly qualified health professionals through preceptorship has been advocated by many professionals as a means of improving patient care by way of assisting new practitioners to develop confidence, supporting students to being registered nurses, s and improving clinical skills. Duffield et al 2011, argues that collaborative nurse-to-physician relationships should be encouraged and led from the very top furthermore, poor behaviors should be identified and acted upon swiftly. Duffield et al 2011 further argue that having a clear focus on values-based nursing reflected in the recruitment, appraisals, staff objectives, and the reward system is likely to improve nurse retention.

Rewarding and recognizing nurses for their work helps in improving organizational commitment, and decreases turnover however, performance and salary increase improve retention if linked to career development. Organizations should explore ways of offering employee benefits packages, such as entertainment, and working with the local community to set up volunteering links for staff. Community events should be promoted internally, such as concerts, and fetes a culture where all parts of the system communicate with each other. According to NHS, promoting connections internally and externally helps in promoting connections between different clinical groups in the organization, such as learning nurse mentors; health care assistants undertaking additional education; staff nurses with specific interests such as in infection control helps in promoting teamwork in the organization hence leading to low staff turnover.

According to Gerrish, and Lacey 2010, a well-trained and flexible workforce is likely to make fewer errors and to have the skills to deal with patients and events that are out of the ordinary. Instilling techniques such as Lean as a key part of workforce training enables a workforce to focus on improvement, experimentation, and learning as standard practice.

Employers can have a crucial role in creating healthy work environments and supporting newly qualified nurses, as it is unlikely these nurses are sufficiently empowered to cope with work-related stressors and to create satisfactory working conditions for themselves Gardener 2005.


Bland Jones, C, Gates M. (2007) ‘The Costs and Benefits of Nurse Turnover: A Business Case

for Nurse Retention’. OJIN.

Duffield C, Roche M, Blay N, Thoms D, Stasa H. (2011) ‘The consequences of executive

turnover.’ J Res Nurs. 2011;13(6):503–514. doi: 10.1177/1744987111422419.

Duffield CM, Roche MA, Blay N, Stasa H (2011) ‘Nursing unit managers, staff retention and the

work environment.’ J Clin Nurs. 2011 Jan; 20(1-2):23-33.

Gerrish, K. and Lacey A. (2010). The Research Process in Nursing. 6th Ed. Publisher: John

Wiley & Sons.

Heinen M M. et al (2012) ‘Nurses’ intention to leave their profession: A cross sectional

observational study in 10 European countries’ Available at:


Hunter E, Nicol M. (2002) ‘Systematic review: evidence of the value of continuing professional

development to enhance recruitment and retention of occupational therapists in mental

health.’ Br J Occup Ther. 2002;13(6):207–215.

Moore K A. (2001) ‘Hospital restructuring: impact on nurses mediated by social support and a

perception of challenge.’ Journal of Health and Human Services Administration 23 (4), 490–517.

NHS Employers Staff Engagement Toolkit. Available at:


engagement-toolkit/Pages/Staff-engagement-toolkit.aspx (accessed 11 Nov.2015).

Van den Heede K. et al (2013) ‘Effective strategies for nurse retention in acute hospitals: A

mixed method study’ International Journal of Nursing Studies. Volume 50, Issue 2 ,

Pages 185-194, February 2013.

Mapp T. (2008) Understanding phenomenology: the lived experience. British Journal of Midwifery 16(5), 308-311.

Moule P.M. (2009). Nursing Research: An Introduction. Sage publication.

Munhall P.L. (2007) Nursing Research: a Qualitative Perspective, 4th edn. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury.

Polit D.F. & Beck C.T. (2010) Essentials of Nursing Research: Appraising Evidence for Nursing Practice, 7th Ed. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia.

Rogers K. (2008) Ethics and qualitative research: issues for midwifery researchers. British Journal of Midwifery 16(3), 179-182.

Silverman D. (2009). Doing Qualitative Research. Sage Publication.

Streubert, H.J. and Carpenter D.R. (2010). Qualitative Research in Nursing: Advancing the Humanistic Imperative. Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us