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Nursing Retention : A Demand For Change

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Nursing Retention: A Demand for Change

Nursing retention is a major issue within the healthcare organization and has been acknowledged internationally. With nurses comprising the largest healthcare professional group, hospital organizations depend on a viable nursing workforce to provide high quality care. According to World Health Organization statistics (2006), there is a shortage of 4.3 million healthcare workers including doctors, midwives, nurses and ancillary staff worldwide (Twigg & McCullough, 2014). This number is expected to increase by 20 percent in the next two decades with projected shortages of 285,000 nurses by 2020 and 500,000 nurses by 2025 (Spence Laschinger et al., 2009; Twigg & McCullough, 2014). As a result of the
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From a career perspective, nurses tend to leave their current employment due to a certain level of dissatisfaction with their job. This is often determined by a number of factors including but not limited to, lack of control and input into scheduling, low nurse-to-patient ratios leading to inability to ensure patient safety, inadequate nursing skill-mix, constant heavy workloads, limited career and employment options and lack of positive reinforcement by peers, management, and others within the profession (Dawson et al., 2014; Hill, 2009).

Scheduling

In many if not all acute care hospitals, nurses work twelve hours shifts, three days a week, including mandated weekends and holidays. Many nurses report that there is a lack of control over days off with an inability or unwillingness by management to adapt work schedules in order to help meet employee obligations (Hill, 2009). Due to management’s lack of flexibility and the limited amount of leave allotted, many nurses may seek other jobs that provide a more life-work balance.

To address the issue of scheduling and why it may be a contributing factor for nurses leaving the workforce, healthcare organizations need to consider looking at evidence based practice strategies for ways to make the workplace a healthier and more satisfying practice
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