This study helps to establish baseline data about a population that is particularly important both to the nursing profession and our health care system, said Carol S. Brewer, PhD, RN, associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. There are both costs and benefits when individuals leave organizations, as well as when they move within a health care system; however, as long as newly-licensed RNs stay in nursing, the nursing community will not have lost its invested human capital.The study included a survey that was mailed to a random sample of new RNs in 35 states and the District of Columbia. A total of 3,266 nurses completed the survey with a response rate of 56%. Data were gathered in four areas: respondent characteristics, work-setting characteristics, respondents attitudes about work and job opportunities. Respondents who were not working were asked about their reasons for being unemployed, if applicable.
We should pay equal attention to the emotional and practical aspects of being a nurse and this study provides initial insight about how we may achieve that goal, said Diana Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, editor-in-chief, AJN. We know that some newly-licensed nurses are getting experience prior to assuming roles in other settings such as home care, school health or primary care. However, we also know that some hospitals are not doing what they can to retain valuable new graduates and need to invest more in front-line managers. We can not afford to remain passive about low retention rates as they are undermining our capacity to alleviate the nursing shortage.
Support for this study was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ
|Contact: Cindy Gessell|
American Journal of Nursing