Nurses' intent to leave the profession: Issues related to gender, ethnicity, and educational level

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: The increase in demand for registered nurses will exceed supply by 29% by 2020, which is due in part to difficulties in retaining the existing nursing workforce. The researchers postulated that nursing professionals are experiencing a higher level of job dissatisfiers than motivators, and this is causing a high percentage of nurses to consider leaving the profession. Prior research has found that nurses' dissatisfaction with their working environments is a predictor of their intent to leave their professions; however, few have addressed the demographic characteristics of the population as predictors of this intent. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore issues relating to the retention of the existing nursing workforce. This article describes the results of a research study that was designed to identify and evaluate the variables that contribute to nurses' intent to leave their profession and the relationships of gender, ethnicity, and educational levels to this intent. METHODOLOGY: Data were collected from 284 nurses, of which 46% indicated that they were considering leaving their profession. Using multiple regression analysis, the researchers were able to test whether certain groups (according to gender, ethnicity, and education levels) had a greater intent to leave the profession and what factors were related to each subgroups' intent to leave. FINDINGS: The results of this study revealed that (a) nurses who are male, are White-non-Hispanic, or have less than a master's degree are more inclined to consider leaving the nursing profession, and (b) benefits were a more important consideration to male and White-non-Hispanic nurses regarding their intent to leave the nursing profession. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: In today's environment of low reimbursement and high cost containment, health care managers need to focus on those items that will have the greatest impact on retaining high-quality nurses because nurses "make the critical, cost-effective difference in providing safe, high-quality patient care." © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Borkowski N; Amann R; Song SH; Weiss C
  • Start Page

  • 160
  • End Page

  • 167
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 2