Understanding New Registered Nurses' Intent to Stay at Their Jobs

High nursing turnover is costly for health care organizations. Many newly licensed registered nurses (NLRN) frequently quit their positions within one year of starting work, which is sooner than experienced RNs. In this article, the authors review the literature to better understand the nurses’ intent to stay; there is a strong relationship between intent to stay in a job and turnover. A survey was conducted of NLRNs to see what made a difference in their intent to stay in a job. In total, 1,933 nurses participated in the survey.

Key Findings:

  • Intent to stay at work was related to two main factors: job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
  • Those nurses who worked more mandatory overtime and who had higher patient loads were less satisfied with their jobs.
  • Those who perceived less supervisory support were less likely to stay.
  • Those whose spouse’s income was high were more likely to stay.
  • Higher numbers of local job opportunities negatively affected nurses’ intent to stay.

Findings from this study may help hospitals decrease turnover rates for newly-trained nurses.