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Improving Nurse Retention in the British National Health Service: The Impact of Job Satisfaction on Intentions to Quit

  • Shields, Michael A.

    ()

    (Monash University)

  • Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E.

    ()

    (European Central Bank)

In recent years the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain 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 only have 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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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 118.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Health Economics, 2001, 20(5), 677-801
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp118
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  1. Andrew Clark, . "Job Satisfaction and Gender. Why are Women so Happy at Work?," Economics Discussion Papers 415, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, . "Gender, Race, Pay and Promotion in the British Nursing Profession Estimation of a Generalised Ordered ProbitModel," Discussion Papers in Economics 97/4, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  3. 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.
  4. Mary Hampton & John Heywood, 1999. "The Determinants of Perceived Underpayment: The Role of Racial Comparisons," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(2), pages 141-155.
  5. 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.
  6. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
  7. Keith A. Bender & Peter J. Sloane, 1998. "Job Satisfaction, Trade Unions, and Exit-Voice Revisited," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(2), pages 222-240, January.
  8. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. P. J. Sloane & H. Williams, 2000. "Job Satisfaction, Comparison Earnings, and Gender," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 14(3), pages 473-502, 09.
  10. Phillips, V. L., 1995. "Nurses' labor supply: Participation, hours of work, and discontinuities in the supply function," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 567-582, December.
  11. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
  12. Michael E. Gordon & Angelo S. Denisi, 1995. "A re-examination of the relationship between union membership and job satisfaction," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 222-236, January.
  13. Miller, Paul W, 1990. "Trade Unions and Job Satisfaction," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(55), pages 226-48, December.
  14. Ward, Melanie E & Sloane, Peter J, 2000. "Non-pecuniary Advantages versus Pecuniary Disadvantages; Job Satisfaction among Male and Female Academics in Scottish Universities," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(3), pages 273-303, August.
  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. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
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