Image of male nurse pushing senior woman in a wheelchair in nursing facility
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Maintaining a low turnover rate among nursing staff during a time of high demand for positions may relate to autonomy of the job.

Researchers at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing interviewed 1,569 registered nurses to determine the factors influencing job turnover among new nurses in hospitals. Nearly 30% who participated in the survey said they changed positions over the yearlong study period.

“Costs are estimated at $62,000 to $67,000 per departure, amounting to $1.4 to $2.1 billion in expenses for new nurses who leave their first jobs within three years of starting,” said lead researcher Christine T. Kovner, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. 

Receiving enough pay to meet financial needs, greater variety and autonomy within a position, and better workplace relationships between registered nurses and physicians were all associated with job retention, the study found.

“Our results point to the variables on which managers can focus to improve unit-level retention of new nurses,” said Kovner.

The results of the study were published in the August issue of the International Journal of Nursing Studies.