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Nurse Manager Perceptions of Role Satisfaction and Retention at an Academic Medical Center

Zwink, Jennifer E. RN, MS, OCN; Dzialo, Maureen RN, MS; Fink, Regina M. PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN; Oman, Kathleen S. PhD, RN, FAEN, FAAN; Shiskowsky, Kaycee RN, MBA, BC; Waite, Kathi RN, MS, CCRN, CNRN, NE-BC; DeVine, Deborah RN, MS, AOCN, CRNI; Sanders, Carolyn L. PhD, RN, NEA-BC; Le-Lazar, Jamie T. T. MBA

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: March 2013 - Volume 43 - Issue 3 - p 135–141
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e318283dc56

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of inpatient acute care nurse managers (NM) employed at an academic Magnet® hospital about factors that influence NM retention, including current work environment, satisfaction, work-life balance, sucssful NM traits, and personal development and educational needs.

BACKGROUND: Nurse managers are challenged with increased workloads impacting their ability to implement all role components.

METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study design used focus group methodology to explore perceptions of the NM role.

RESULTS: Nurse managers identified staff recognition, support, peer relationships, collaboration, and ability to make positive change as factors influencing their decision to remain in the role. Burnout factors included workload issues, work-life imbalance, and difficulty sustaining positive relationships. Traits supporting success were communication, resiliency, integrity, and a visionary outlook. Suggestions for NM development and education were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings can be used to improve NM satisfaction, work-life balance, recruitment, retention, and succession planning.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

Author Affiliations: Oncology/BMT Nurse Manager (Ms Zwink); Cardiac ICU and Telemetry Nurse Manager (Ms Dzialo); Research Nurse Scientist, Associate Professor (Drs Fink and Oman), College of Nursing, University of Colorado, Denver and University of Colorado Hospital, University of Colorado Health, Aurora; Medicine Specialties and Pulmonary Nurse Manager (Ms Shiskowsky); Neurosciences Critical Care Nurse Manager (Ms Waite); Director, Patient Services (Ms DeVine); Vice President Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer (Dr Sanders); Manager, Resource, Staffing, and Inpatient Special Projects (Ms Le-Lazar), University of Colorado Hospital, University of Colorado Health, Aurora.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Ms Zwink, University of Colorado Hospital, 12605 E 16th Avenue, Mailstop F-787, Aurora, CO 80045 (

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© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.