Friday, July 15, 2005
This presentation is part of : Innovations in Retention of Nurses
Retention of Community Nurses: Strategies for Success
Sheila Cameron, RN, EdD, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada and Marjorie Armstrong-Stassen, PhD, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada.
Learning Objective #1: Identify issues affecting retention of nurses working in community settings
Learning Objective #2: Explore effective strategies for retaining nurses in this time of global shortages

The purpose of this study was to examine factors affecting retention of nurses working in community settings.

Specifically, we explored (a) how their work environment was influencing their willingness to remain in their position of employment,(b) whether they were differences between Full and Part-time nurses as well as between nurses in Public Health Agencies, Home Care Agencies and Community Clinics and (c) to what degree Work and Family Stressors were impacting on nurses propensity to leave their place of employment.

A random sample of nurses working in community settings was obtained from a Nursing Registry in Ontario, Canada. The sample included Full and Part-Time nurses employed in Ontario. Questionnaires were mailed to nurses and participants were advised that return of their completed questionnaires would signify their consent to participate in the study. Only aggregate data are reported and responses received from 1525 nurses represented a 51% response rate.

Nurses from three main sectors reported. Those working in Public Health Nursing, Home-Care and those working in Community Clinics. Many felt unfairly rewarded financially for work completed. This was not a surprising finding as like many other countries nurses in Canada often receive lower salaries and fewer benefits than nurses working in acute-care settings. Factors in the nurses work environment impacting positively on their willingness to remain employed included the amount of support they were receiving from their organization (supervisors as well as co-workers), their inclusion in decision-making in the organization and being respected and valued for work completed. Strategies for nurse managers to consider to improve retention of community nurses will be explored.

This research was supported by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care, Ontario through the Nursing Health Services Research Unit at McMaster University, $25,000.