JOURNAL ARTICLE

Explaining young registered Finnish nurses' intention to leave the profession: a questionnaire survey

M Flinkman, M Laine, H Leino-Kilpi, H-M Hasselhorn, S Salanterä
International Journal of Nursing Studies 2008, 45 (5): 727-39
17280674

BACKGROUND: Regardless of the current global nursing shortage, many nurses are planning to leave their profession. According to previous research, young nurses in particular are the most eager to leave-there is, however, no research available as to why this is.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this survey study was to discover what proportion of young nurses intends to leave the profession in Finland and what the reasons behind this are.

DESIGN: Quantitative, survey study.

SETTINGS: Six hospital districts in Finland.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 147 Registered Nurses, under the age of 30, working mainly in hospitals.

METHOD: Data was collected as part of the NEXT (Nurses Early Exit)--Study. A structured postal questionnaire, BQ-12, was used to collect the data in autumn 2003. Quantitative data were analysed using chi(2), the Fisher exact-test and Mann-Whitney U-test, and qualitative data were analysed using quasi-statistics.

RESULTS: During the course of the past year, 26% of young nurses have often thought of giving up nursing. This was associated with personal burnout, poor opportunities for development, lack of affective professional commitment, low job satisfaction, work-family conflicts and higher quantitative work demands. In open-ended question, nurses stated that the main reasons for them considering leaving the profession included dissatisfaction with salary, the demands of nursing work, the inconvenience of shift work/working hours and uncertain work status.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings illustrate that there were several factors influencing the young nurses' intentions. By identifying the factors responsible, it could be possible to retain young nurses in the field.

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