Health care is facing a nursing shortage that will challenge the delivery of medical care throughout the United States and world. The current registered nurse (RN) shortage is predicted to increase over the next 20 years due to the imminent retirement of the Baby Boomer generation (Griffith, 2012). The nursing profession faces difficulties attracting new nurses and retaining the existing workforce. Many factors, including poor retention rates within the profession, contribute to this problem (Gambino, 2010). Unfortunately, often due to the lack of financial resources, many of the changes suggested to encourage retention are difficult, even impossible to achieve. For this reason, Gambino (2010) suggests researching personal commitment and the factors that affect commitment of whether a nurse will remain with an employer or nursing profession.
Gambino (2010) conducted a study to identify reasons or motivations individuals enter the nursing profession. Motivations were either altruistically or analytically driven. Those altruistically motivated become nurses as the result of a calling or a wish to work in a caring profession. Analytically motivated individuals chose a nursing career for reasons including job security, flexibility, benefits, and perceived opportunities for advancement (Gambino, 2010).
With the Ochsner Health System, several programs are in place for those with an interest in the healthcare field and wish to explore different areas of medicine. These programs range from volunteerism to academic outreach programs. Job shadowing, a unique offering, allows those aged 16 and older to have one-on-one experiences in a healthcare profession of their choice, up to 40 hours (Ochsner, n.d., “Field trips”). For qualified high school students, Ochsner’s STAR program is a free five-week summer curriculum that provides hands-on academic experiences in science, technology, and research with the goal to inspire and motivate students to pursue education and careers in science and medicine (Ochsner, n.d., “STAR”). Unfortunately, the STAR program is only available at the main Ochsner campus. If the STAR program expands to the other Ochsner campuses, this would create a larger outreach and recruitment tool. According to Griffith (2012), identifying and recruiting candidates for the anticipated nursing shortage should begin as early as high school. These opportunities in place allow teenagers and young adults confirm if the healthcare profession is a fit for them.
Motivations for nurses to remain loyal with an organization or nursing profession relates to satisfaction. Morgan and Lynn (2009) identified several factors that affect nursing satisfaction including financial benefits and relationships with coworkers. While pay is not necessarily the driving force for job satisfaction, failing to reward nurses financially for experience or above average performance may cause dissatisfaction and turnover. Positive relationships with coworkers...