Why do young nurses leave their organization? A qualitative descriptive study


INTERNATIONAL NURSING REVIEW, vol.67, no.4, pp.519-528, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 67 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/inr.12633
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.519-528
  • Keywords: nursing shortage, nursing turnover, qualitative study, reasons for leaving, Turkey, work environment, young nurses, NEWLY GRADUATED NURSES, RESIDENCY PROGRAMS, REGISTERED NURSES, TURNOVER, EXPERIENCES, INTENTION, TRANSITION, RETENTION, COUNTRIES
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: No


Background Nurse turnover is a major problem all over the world. It is known that young nurses who constitute the new nurse labour force are more likely to leave their organization, especially in their first year. However, qualitative studies that approach the problem from the perspective of young nurses and focus on the reasons for their decision to leave their organization are limited. Aim To understand the reasons for young nurses' leaving their organization and determine their experiences, focusing on their point of view. Methods The study had a descriptive qualitative design and was conducted between January and February 2019. Purposeful sampling was used, and the sample included 15 nurses that voluntarily decided to leave a university hospital in Turkey and agreed to participate in the study. Data were collected with semi-structured interviews, and the interviews were audio-recorded. The data obtained from the interviews were evaluated by content analysis. Findings The young nurses' reasons for leaving their organization were found to be in three categories: theNegative work environment,Nursing shortage, andUnsatisfied individual expectations. TheNegative work environmentcategory included the subcategories of lack of professional solidarity, lack of support from managers, inadequacy of preceptorship process, and horizontal violence. TheNursing shortagecategory consisted of the subcategories of excessive workload and overtime. The category ofUnsatisfied individual expectationscomprised the subcategories of work-social life imbalance, availability of alternative options, and family-related reasons. Conclusion and implications for nursing policy It was determined that the young nurses left their organization because they did not receive sufficient support from their managers and colleagues during the transition period. This finding shows that nurse executives must have the managerial skills and understanding to regulate the work environment, increase peer support, and carefully plan each stage of the transition process for the retention of young nurses in their organization. In addition, nurse executives should encourage and be involved with policy making and policymakers and other managers in their organizations to develop institutional and national strategies to ensure that young nurses remain in nursing.