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Increasing Retention of New Graduate Nurses: A Systematic Review of Interventions by Healthcare Organizations

Salt, Jennifer MN, RN; Cummings, Greta G. PhD, RN; Profetto-McGrath, Joanne PhD, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: June 2008 - Volume 38 - Issue 6 - p 287-296
doi: 10.1097/01.NNA.0000312788.88093.2e

With the nursing shortage and the high incidence of turnover among new graduate nurses (NGNs) within the first year of employment, there is an increased need to investigate the effectiveness of retention strategies aimed at retraining NGNs. The purpose of this articled was to determine which organizational strategies increase the retention rates of NGNs. A systematic review of the research literature was conducted to examine published studies that focused on a retention strategy implemented to influence NGNs to stay in their place of employment. Data were extracted, and the quality of each study was assessed. Sixteen published studies were included in this review. Of these, 13 did not use true experimental study designs. Based on the studies with the strongest designs, the highest retention rates were associated with retention strategies that used a preceptor program model that focused on the NGN as well as a program length of 3 to 6 months. Evidence for the effectiveness of implementation strategies is limited; however, it is apparent from all the studies reviewed that implementing a retention strategy is effective for increasing retention rates of NGNs.

Authors' Affiliations: Clinical Consultant for Home Care (Ms Salt), Calgary Health Region, Alberta; Associate Professor, New Investigator, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Population Health Investigator, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (Dr Cummings); Associate Professor (Dr Profetto-McGrath), Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Corresponding author: Dr Cummings, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Third Floor, Clinical Sciences Bldg, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G3 (

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.