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Improving nurse retention in the National Health Service in England: the impact of job satisfaction on intentions to quit

  • Shields, Michael A.
  • Ward, Melanie

In recent years the British National Health Service (NHS) has experienced an acute shortage of qualified nurses. This has placed issues of recruitment and retention in the profession high on the political agenda. In this Paper, we investigate the determinants of job satisfaction for nurses and establish the importance of job satisfaction in determining nurses’ intentions to quit the NHS. We find that nurses who report overall dissatisfaction with their jobs have a 65% higher probability of intending to quit than those reporting to be satisfied. However, dissatisfaction with promotion and training opportunities are found to have a stronger impact than workload or pay. Recent policies, which focus heavily on improving the pay of all NHS nurses, will have only limited success unless they are accompanied by improved promotion and training opportunities. Better retention will, in turn, lead to reduced workload.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 677-701

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:20:y:2001:i:5:p:677-701
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
  2. Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2000. "Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Quit: Evidence from the British Nursing Profession," IZA Discussion Papers 164, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Clark, A.E., 1995. "Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?," DELTA Working Papers 95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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  5. Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, 2000. "Gender, race, pay and promotion in the British nursing profession: estimation of a generalized ordered probit model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 367-399.
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  8. Dolton, Peter J & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Leaving Teaching in the UK: A Duration Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 431-44, March.
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  13. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1997. "Job Satisfaction, Wage Changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany," Studies in Economics 9711, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  14. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. David N. Laband & Bernard F. Lentz, 1998. "The Effects of sexual harassment on job satisfaction, earnings, and turnover among female lawyers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 594-607, July.
  16. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
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