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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Nurse to Nurse Project: Why do nurses leave bedside nursing and what can be done?

Karen Peifer, PhD, MPH, RN1, Joyce Mills, MS, RN2, Anna C. Mullins, RN, DNSC2, and Gail Katz, MS, RN1. (1) School of Nursing, Univeristy of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 E. 9th Ave. C288-18, Denver, CO 80262, 303-315-0635, karen.peifer@uchsc.edu, (2) California Nurses Foundation, 1970 Broadway, Suite 260, Oakland, CA 94612

Objective: The purpose of this study is to understand complexities related to staff nurses leaving positions in acute care hospitals and to use that information to design programs to increase retention and job satisfaction for registered nurses. Methods: A total of seven focus groups with staff nurses were conducted between January 2005 and October 2006 in the San Francisco Bay area. The focus groups were composed of registered nurses with varying years of experience in bedside nursing (mean years in nursing = 17 years; range 1-29 years). Participants worked in for-profit, not-for-profit and public hospitals. Findings: After analyzing the focus group transcripts four conceptual areas were identified. Specifically, the need for institutional acculturation, professional development, patient acuity and workload concerns, and organizational changes in the hospital environment were recognized as a source of concern. Conclusion: There is a well documented shortage of trained nursing personnel to meet the needs of the changing demographics in the United States. Labor force research has documented the need for more nurses but there is still too little known about why nurses leave bedside nursing and why they leave the profession altogether. Understanding the complexities related to this exodus from the hospital where there is the greatest need for nurses is essential to meet current and future labor force needs. This project is the first step in understanding these issues and finding solutions. Comprehensive preceptor programs with measurable standards and ongoing mentoring of nursing staff are being developed to ameliorate some of the concerns identified.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Nursing Education, Labor-Management Relations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Improving the Health Workforce: Issues and Opportunities

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA