Lighter work is little help for retention

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Engaging late-career nurses in special projects while reducing their load of physically or psychologically demanding tasks can improve their perception of managers, but it doesn't improve retention. This was one takeaway from a large-scale initiative in Ontario, according to findings recently published in the Journal of Nursing Management.

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care launched the Late Career Nurse Initiative (LCNI) in 2005. 

Participating providers shifted the workload of nurses who were 55 or older, having them do fewer demanding tasks in favor of projects meant to improve the organization.

Investigators surveyed about 900 nurses. Those who participated in LCNI saw their managers as better leaders, compared to the other group. Yet, when the nurses were asked about their intent to leave their current job, there was no statistical difference between the groups.

Older nurses tend to report greater job satisfaction and lower levels of burnout than younger nurses, which suggests that projects like LCNI might have limited potential to affect attrition, the researchers surmised. 


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