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Strategies for Retaining Midcareer Nurses

McGillis Hall, Linda PhD, RN, FAAN, FCAHS; Lalonde, Michelle MN, RN; Dales, Lorraine MN, RN; Peterson, Jessica PhD, RN; Cripps, Lauren RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: December 2011 - Volume 41 - Issue 12 - p 531–537
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182378d6c
Articles

One method of reducing predicted shortages because of the aging nursing workforce is to increase retention. Few studies have examined the unique needs of midcareer nurses. A mixed-method approach including surveys and focus groups was used to identify key retention strategies and desires for midcareer nurses. Salary, benefits, positive working relationships, flexible scheduling, and the opportunity for continued education were identified as key retention strategies from this study. Registered nurses in this study reported higher perceptions of their work and work environment than licensed practical nurses did. Differences in work outcomes were evident across sectors, with community nurses reporting higher levels of job satisfaction and perceptions of work quality than nurses in acute and long-term care. Findings suggest that recruitment opportunities may exist with midcareer nurses seeking employment to return to work after time off to have a family. Proactive retention policies that focus on the needs of midcareer nurses would demonstrate a commitment and interest in keeping them in their work positions and in the profession.

Author Affiliations: Professor, Associate Dean of Research and External Relations (Dr McGillis Hall), PhD Student (Ms Lalonde), Research Officer (Ms Dales), Assistant Professor (Dr Peterson), Research Officer (Ms Cripps), Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Dr McGillis Hall, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, 155 College St, Suite 130, Toronto, ON M5T 1P8 (l.mcgillishall@utoronto.ca).

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.