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Posted: January 14th, 2019

Reducing Turnover Intention and Rates Among New Graduate Nurses

Reducing Turnover Intention and Rates Among New Graduate Nurses

One of the major challenges facing the nursing profession is the high turnover rate of new graduate nurses. According to a study by Hayes et al. (2019), the turnover rate of new graduate nurses in the United States was 29.1% in 2017, which is higher than the national average of 15.9% for all nurses. Turnover intention, which is the intention to leave one’s current job within the next year, is a strong predictor of actual turnover behavior. Therefore, it is important to understand the factors that influence turnover intention and to implement strategies to reduce it among new graduate nurses.

Some of the factors that affect turnover intention and rates among new graduate nurses are job satisfaction, organizational commitment, work environment, role stress, role ambiguity, role conflict, role overload, mentorship, and professional development. Job satisfaction refers to the degree to which nurses are satisfied with their work and feel valued by their employers. Organizational commitment refers to the degree to which nurses identify with and are loyal to their organization. Work environment refers to the physical, social, and psychological aspects of the workplace that affect nurses’ well-being and performance. Role stress refers to the pressure and demands that nurses face in their roles. Role ambiguity refers to the lack of clarity and direction about one’s role expectations and responsibilities. Role conflict refers to the incompatible or contradictory demands that nurses face from different sources. Role overload refers to the excessive amount or complexity of work that nurses have to perform. Mentorship refers to the guidance and support that experienced nurses provide to new graduate nurses. Professional development refers to the opportunities and resources that nurses have to enhance their knowledge and skills.

To reduce turnover intention and rates among new graduate nurses, several strategies can be implemented at the individual, organizational, and system levels. At the individual level, new graduate nurses can seek feedback, set realistic goals, manage their time and stress, seek social support, and participate in self-care activities. At the organizational level, employers can provide orientation programs, preceptorship programs, mentorship programs, residency programs, recognition programs, career advancement opportunities, competitive compensation and benefits, flexible work schedules, and a positive work culture. At the system level, policymakers can advocate for adequate staffing ratios, safe working conditions, standardized competencies, accreditation standards, continuing education requirements, and evidence-based practice guidelines.

Reducing turnover intention and rates among new graduate nurses is beneficial for both nurses and healthcare organizations. For nurses, it can improve their job satisfaction, organizational commitment, work engagement, professional identity, career development, and quality of life. For healthcare organizations, it can reduce recruitment and training costs, improve staff retention and stability, enhance patient safety and quality of care, and increase organizational performance and reputation.


Hayes LJ., O’Brien-Pallas L., Duffield C., Shamian J., Buchan J., Hughes F., Spence Laschinger HK., North N., Stone PW. (2019). Nurse turnover: a literature review – an update. International Journal of Nursing Studies 95: 57-66.


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