In this study, we focus on the growing general problem of an inadequate supply of RNs working in Canadian acute care hospitals. Our assumption is that retention of nurses in the health care workforce is a desirable goal to manage the problem of an inadequate supply of acute care hospital nurses over the upcoming years. Our premise is that developing and implementing appropriate strategies that strengthen nurses’ intentions to remain employed in their acute care hospitals rather than terminating their hospital employment before the normal age of retirement (65 years) is essential to promote an adequate supply of RNs. We also suggest that strategies that best promote nurse retention will be different for nurses in different generations. Each generation varies in their values, goals, priorities, attitudes, expectations, and perceptions of work. Currently there are four generations of nurses in the health services workforce:
The overall purpose of this research is twofold:
The first phase involved focus group discussions with registered nurses working in acute care hospitals regarding what work-related factors, life circumstances, and external factors encouraged them to remain in their current hospital role and discouraged them from leaving their job.
In phase 2, a nurse survey was developed based on findings from phase 1 focus groups and previous research literature. The survey was mailed to a sample of Registered Nurses working in acute care hospitals in Ontario and Alberta. Responses to the survey were used to test and refine theory about what encourages nurses to remain in their hospital employment.
If you are a participant and would like to review the information letter for this phase of the study, please click here: Phase 2 Information Letter
If you would like to view the nurse survey instrument, please click here: Phase 2 Nurse Survey
In phase 3, hospital nurses and health care decision and policy makers will be invited to a series of information sessions to validate and interpret findings from phases 1 and 2, and to identify key strategies that should be implemented to strengthen nurses’ intentions to remain employed in their current hospital jobs and discourage them from early voluntary termination before the normal age of retirement.
The study is being conducted by a team of researchers: Ann Tourangeau and Lisa Cranley from the University of Toronto and Greta Cummings from the University of Alberta. The study is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and has received ethical approval from the University of Toronto Health Sciences I Research Ethics Board and the University of Alberta Health Research Ethics Board.