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Nurse manager turnover in New South Wales during the 1990s

Elsevier Ltd
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s1322-7696(08)60614-9
  • Nurse Manager
  • Turnover
  • Retention
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Ecology
  • Geography


The principal aim of the research reported in this paper was to explore the nature and incidence of various environmental, personal, and work-related factors that are implicated in turnover and retention amongst nurse managers. The study sought to ascertain whether or not turnover patterns during the 1990s were similar for nurse managers working in different specialist areas and settings of health services within New South Wales, and to discover the main reasons why nurse managers change their jobs or stay in their jobs. This paper reports the main findings, and highlights how the factors implicated in nurse manager turnover and retention, whilst not significantly dissimilar across different cohorts of nurse managers, do not parallel those that are implicated in turnover amongst nurses generally. The research has found that the main reason nurse managers change their jobs is for career development, often within the same organisation or, otherwise, the same health sector or geographic area. Second to this is leaving due to dissatisfying aspects of the job and/or work environment. Some differences have been observed in the propensity to change jobs and in the relative importance of particular influences on job changes in certain practice areas and health sectors. Seven per cent of nurse managers would like to quit their present jobs. However, almost 70% are happy to stay either because the job suits their skills and qualifications, the job is personally satisfying/rewarding, they enjoy the company of their coworkers, or their hours of work suit their needs.

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