Study: Recession improved staff turnover

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Newly licensed registered nurses perceived fewer jobs available during the recession. They also reported greater loyalty to their employers, results of a new study reveal.

The good news: Nurses' overall health improved as the recession wore on and the number of work-related injuries declined, said researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They surveyed one group of new registered nurses in 2006, and another in 2009. But overall job satisfaction did not improve between the surveys.

Investigators attribute the improvement in employee loyalty and health to employers' increased attention to addressing a healthy work-life balance. But that doesn't mean that employers should become complacent about providing health benefits and enforcing policies that promote retention as the economy improves, investigators assert.

“As the job market opens up again, it's likely that nurses who have been delaying changing jobs will begin looking for new positions, which could dramatically increase staff turnover,” said lead investigator Christine T. Kovner, RN, Ph.D.
The study was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Nursing.