OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to describe findings from a study examining nurses’ perceptions of incentives for pursuing management roles.
BACKGROUND: Upcoming retirements of nurse managers and a reported lack of interest in manager roles signal concerns about a leadership shortage. However, there is limited research on nurses’ career aspirations and specifically the effect of perceived incentives for pursuing manager roles.
METHODS: Data from a national, cross-sectional survey of Canadian nurses were analyzed (n = 1241) using multiple regression to measure the effect of incentives on nurses’ career aspirations.
RESULTS: Twenty-four percent of nurses expressed interest in pursuing management roles. Age, education, and incentives explained 43% of the variance in career aspirations. Intrinsically oriented incentives such as new challenges, autonomy, and the opportunity to influence others were the strongest predictors of aspirations to management roles.
CONCLUSIONS: Ensuring an adequate supply of nurse managers will require proactive investment in the identification, recruitment, and development of nurses with leadership potential.