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Top Reason for Nurse Turnover: Managers

 |  By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   September 09, 2014

Understanding nurse turnover is critical for nurse leaders and hospitals, but they don't always have a great grasp of it.


Christine Tassone Kovner, PhD, RN

Here's a startling statistic: An estimated 17.3% of newly licensed RNs leave their first nursing job within the first year and 33.5% leave within two years, according to a new study conducted by the RN Work Project and published in the journal Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice.

Moreover, "When we asked new nurses what the primary reason for them leaving was, they consistently said the managers," one of the study authors, Christine Tassone Kovner, PhD, RN Professor, College of Nursing New York University and Faculty, New York University Langone Medical Center, said via email.

Clearly, understanding nurse turnover is critical for nurse leaders. It can negatively affect everything operational performance, to patient outcomes, to a hospital's bottom line; the latter to the tune of up to $6.4 million per year for a large acute care hospital, research says.

Yet hospitals don't always have a great grasp of nurse turnover.

"There is a lack of consistency in definitions of nurse turnover. These inconsistencies result in various turnover rates," Kovner said. "In addition, turnover rates vary depending on the method used to get data, response rates to surveys, and the geographical area included."

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Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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