Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Background: Demand for health care services is rising while newly licensed nurses vacate employment positions at alarming rates. Healthcare leadership has called for an increased diversification of the healthcare workforce, but the workplace experience of nonwhite nurses in the first years has not been assessed.
Methods: This study utilized a quantitative cross-sectional survey design. The sample was limited to newly licensed nurses with no prior experience as a nurse. Linear regression models were constructed to determine which personal and structural attributes are associated with turnover intention, stratified by race and ethnicity. Hierarchical, backwards stepwise selection was used to build the final model.
Results: The majority of respondents were white English-speaking females, never married, holding a BSN and working in an acute care hospital. Nurses who speak a language other than English at home are treated more poorly than primary English speakers. Hispanics are most likely to report a negative work environment, a hostile climate, general incivility and inappropriate jokes. Turnover intention was associated with months at the current job, a negative work environment including experiencing incivility, not having enough time to do the things that must be done, and confidence in the ability to do one’s job list. Blacks are likely to report a high turnover intention but remain in the current job while acknowledging a hostile environment and general incivility. Many nurses employed in non-acute care settings are nonwhite, report higher workload scores and high patient assignments.
Conclusions: Nonwhite nurses report negative work environments and high intention to leave but remain in their jobs. Among the full sample of newly licensed nurses, months at the current job, a negative work environment, including experiencing incivility, not having enough time to do the things that must be done, and confidence in the ability to do one’s job were associated with turnover intention. Efforts to diversify the workforce must include education to prepare minority nurses for the environment they may encounter, including uncivil behavior and high workloads. Policy initiatives must address the treatment of new nurses and support new nurses as they transition to the professional role.
Howlett, Mary Susan L., "Do Race and Ethnicity Influence Turnover Intention in Newly Licensed Registered Nurses?" (2019). Graduate Doctoral Dissertations. 498.