Newly Licensed RNs Describe What They Like Best about Being a Nurse

Some 25 percent of newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs) leave their first job within two years. Most (92%) take another job in nursing, suggesting that they are disenchanted with their employers but not with nursing. Nursing students’ expectations of nursing practice—to provide care that is patient centered, evidence based, high quality, and safe, delivered as part of an interdisciplinary team, and aided by information technologies— are not being met by their employers.

Investigators analyzed the responses of 1,152 nurses in 15 states to an open-ended question added to another study: “What is the best part of being a nurse?” Several themes emerged. NLRNs say they:

  • Value holistic and varied expressions of caring—physical, mental, psychosocial and spiritual.
  • Want to be part of an autonomous and collaborative practice.
  • Want to use diverse knowledge and skills—including communication, decision-making, catching mistakes, critical thinking, problem solving, patient education and intuition—to impact patient outcomes.
  • Need a job that is secure and intellectually stimulating, involving recognition through external rewards and opportunities for professional advancement.

“Creating opportunities for NLRNs to do what is most enjoyable in everyday practice may close the gap between the disproportionately large organizational versus professional turnover of NLRNs,” the authors conclude.

The RN Work Project

  1. 1. Newly Licensed RNs' Characteristics, Work Attitudes, and Intentions to Work
  2. 2. Addressing the Complexities of Survey Research
  3. 3. A Comparison of Second-Degree Baccalaureate and Traditional-Baccalaureate New Graduate RNs
  4. 4. Understanding New Registered Nurses' Intent to Stay at Their Jobs
  5. 5. The Nursing Career Process from Application Through the First 2 Years of Employment
  6. 6. What Newly Licensed Registered Nurses Have to Say about Their First Experiences
  7. 7. Moving on, Up, or Out
  8. 8. Generational Differences Among Newly Licensed Registered Nurses
  9. 9. New Nurses Views of Quality Improvement Education
  10. 10. Newly Licensed RNs Describe What They Like Best about Being a Nurse
  11. 11. Early Career RNs' Perceptions of Quality Care in the Hospital Setting
  12. 12. Commuting to Work
  13. 13. State Mandatory Overtime Regulations and Newly Licensed Nurses' Mandatory and Voluntary Overtime and Total Work Hours
  14. 14. Work Environment Factors Other Than Staffing Associated with Nurses' Ratings of Patient Care Quality
  15. 15. The Relative Geographic Immobility of New Registered Nurses Calls for New Strategies to Augment that Workforce
  16. 16. Predictors of Actual Turnover in a National Sample of Newly Licensed Registered Nurses Employed in Hospitals
  17. 17. Charting the Course for Nurses' Achievement of Higher Education Levels
  18. 18. Verbal Abuse From Nurse Colleagues and Work Environment of Early Career Registered Nurses
  19. 19. Early-Career Registered Nurses' Participation in Hospital Quality Improvement Activities
  20. 20. Positive Work Environments of Early-Career Registered Nurses and the Correlation with Physician Verbal Abuse