Literature Review: Nurse Retention

1668 words - 7 pages

With the ongoing changes in the healthcare field, nursing workforce retention presents itself as one of the greatest challenges facing healthcare systems today. According to the American Nursing Association, nursing turnover is a multi-faceted issue which impacts the financial stability of the facility, the quality of patient care and has a direct affect on the other members of the nursing staff (ANA, 2014). The cost to replace a nurse in a healthcare facility ranges between $62,100 to $67,100 (ANA, 2014). The rising problem with nursing retention will intensify the nursing shortage, which has been projected to affect the entire nation, not just isolated areas of the country, gradually increasing in its scope from 2009 to 2030 (Rosseter, 2014). The nursing shortage is directly related to the increased rate of the population growth, the decrease in enrollment of new nursing students, the aging population as well as the problem of nursing retention (STTI, 2014). In order to determine interventions that are necessary to retain the nursing workforce, evidence-based research must be reviewed to understand strategies needed to alleviate this problem. The literature reviewed shows a direct relationship between nursing retention and the satisfaction of the nurses with the environment in which they work. The healthcare environment, as seen from a nurse’s perspective, is affected by many factors such as the autonomy of the nurses, the support from leadership, the opportunities for professional development and the quality of the relationships between the nurses and other disciplines. These factors should be analyzed and then interventions should be undertaken to improve these aspects of the nursing environment and minimize items that lead to nursing burnout and nursing dissatisfaction.

Review of the Literature

In a mixed method study, researchers Van den Heede, Florquin, Bruyneel, Aiken, Diya, Lesaffree, and Sermeus (2013) examined the link between a nurse’s desire to leave the hospital and his/her educational background, nurse staffing, and the overall environment in the healthcare setting. The researchers surveyed 3186 nurses on staff at 56 hospitals; 52 academic hospitals and 4 non-academic hospitals. The researchers compared the results of the nurses’ surveys with information about the location of the hospital (rural or urban), the hospital environment (managerial support, good relationships among team members, the nurses’ involvement in decision-making), the nurses’ educational levels, and the staffing (nurse:patient ratio). The researchers also interviewed nurse managers and leaders to evaluate their input on nurse retention and nursing shortages in a qualitative portion of the study. In the article “Effective strategies for nurse retention in acute hospitals: A mixed method study”, the researchers state “the results show that nurse staffing and the quality of the nurse practice environment (i.e. managerial support of nursing care, good...

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