Date of Submission

Fall 11-25-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

First Advisor

Dr. Elena Capella

Second Advisor

Dr. Juli Maxworthy


Background: Nurse retention has become vital to ensure that healthcare settings have a sufficient number of nurses who are confident and knowledgeable in providing safe patient care. Factors that influence nurses to leave their current jobs include self-care, interprofessional communication, knowledge base, leadership team, and professional development.

Objectives: To conduct a comprehensive review of the related literature to examine recent findings related to supporting nurses to increase retention, and to identify methodological challenges and the implications of new evidence for future studies.

Design: A comprehensive search of the recent literature related to supporting nurses to increase retention was undertaken to summarize relevant findings published in the past 12 years.

Data sources: Electronic databases: CINAHL, OVID, PubMed, reference lists of journal publications.

Review methods: Keyword searches were conducted for publications published between 2006 and 2018 that examined nurse retention in all healthcare settings. Literature findings are presented using an integrative approach and a table format to report individual studies.

Results: From 100 citations or abstracts initially scanned for content relevance, ten studies were included in this review. The studies focus on new nurses and the determinants of nurse retention. Recent studies offer insight into generational factors that should be considered in creating nurse retention programs.

Conclusions: Primary factors affecting nurses’ decisions to stay at an organization include job satisfaction, nurse self-concept, and burnout. The implementation of nurse residency programs and mentor programs in institutions that employ new nurses has been shown to reduce turnover rates, increase the quality of patient care, and empower nurses in professional development. The existing literature supports the use of mentor programs and encourages their implementation in healthcare institutions. Longitudinal research is needed to produce new evidence of the relationship between mentor programs and nurse retention, the impact of these programs on cost, and impact on patient outcomes.

Keywords: job satisfaction, nurse, retention, turnover

Included in

Nursing Commons