School of Nursing end of provisional year PhD seminar: Can we do more? A study to improve the retention of Registered Nurses in the New Zealand healthcare system Event as iCalendar

11 February 2014

1 - 2pm

Venue: Seminar Room 503-024, Building 503, 85 Park Road, Grafton

Willoughby Moloney is a Registered Nurse. She is supervised by Professor Matthew Parsons and Professor Nicolette Sheridan from the School of Nursing and Professor Peter Boxall from the Business School.

Since the recession began in 2007 employment rates of Registered Nurses (RNs) have grown. Nursing is a predominantly female profession with many RNs having considerable family responsibilities, therefore during a recession many RNs who were not working or were working part-time may re-join the workforce or change to full-time status because their partners have a reduced income and they must sustain their household’s economic security. Some RNs may move to holding more than one job, while others who were working in different sectors may return to nursing if their current occupational positions become tenuous. Most of the employment increase in recent years is from RNs over age fifty, some of which reflects large cohorts of baby-boomer RNs aging into their fifties. There is great concern that those RNs who re-entered or extended their involvement in the workforce during the economic downturn will leave their jobs or reduce their hours once their family’s financial situation improves.  Further to this, it is anticipated that the supply of RNs will be hugely reduced due to the ageing workforce nearing retirement. This would come at a time when the ageing population is placing increasing demand on health care services. Solutions that address the anticipated nursing shortage are likely to focus on the motivations of RNs and incentives to recruit and retain them despite economic cycles.

This two phased study will involve a comprehensive survey of a large cohort of RNs from a variety of settings across primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, and with a focus on the various generational cohorts to identify priorities in the career decision-making process over a lifetime. The survey will be developed from the literature and semi-structured interviews with RNs, nurse leaders and key stakeholders Health Workforce New Zealand and Nursing Council of New Zealand.  The purpose is to develop a new model of RN turnover within a New Zealand context which can provide health care planners with information for policy development that works to ensure the country is able to meet its need for a high functioning stable nursing workforce.