Job Embeddedness Factors that Influence Retention of Nurses who have One-to-Three Years Experience

Wednesday, 14 July 2010: 11:40 AM

Diana M. Halfer, MSN, RN
Clinical and Organizational Development, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Learning Objective 1: describe job embeddedness factors that influence nursing retention in the first three years of practice.

Learning Objective 2: discuss the organizational factors that influence retention and the implications for nursing leadership practice.


With the national focus on alleviating the nursing shortage there has been increased attention on understanding the new graduate nurse work experience. Several studies report success with improving their job satisfaction and retention after implementing mentoring programs. Yet despite these successes, turnover for these same nurses remains high after one-to-three years of tenure with an organization. The purpose of this study was to examine job embeddedness factors that are important to the retention of nurses early in their careers. Methods:

Job embeddedness theory assesses a broad set of influences on retention and includes three dimensions: fit, links, and sacrifice. The study setting was a Magnet-designated pediatric academic medical center with a new graduate nurse population who had completed a mentoring program and had one-to-three years of experience. In 2008 a job embeddedness survey was administered with a 61% (116/191) return rate. One year later 14 RNs who completed the survey had left the organization. The survey responses of those who left were compared to those who stayed. Both organizational and community embeddedness factors impacting retention were analyzed. Results:

Two organizational factors were statistically significant. Nurses who left had significantly lower agreement (p<.05) for the following items, "I feel part of my work team" and "I feel I am a good match for this hospital." Younger nurses were also more likely to leave. No community factors were significantly different between the two groups. An organizational Embeddedness Score, which is the sum of all the organizational questions and a Community Embeddedness Score, sum of all the community questions, were not found to be different between the two groups. Conclusion:

Findings support the influence of organizational culture in nursing retention and have implications for nursing leaders facilitating the new graduate nurse transition into unit work teams and hiring for job fit.