Monday, 30 June 2014

Do nurses want to work in the UK NHS?

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

A recent study by Robson and Robson (2014) from Newcastle Northumbria University titled ‘Do nurses wish to continue working for the UK National Health Service? A comparative study of three generations of nurses’ has been published in JAN. The study replicates a previous Australian study, also published in JAN (Shacklock & Brunetto 2012). In their own words: ‘This study provides understanding about the issues that affect nurse retention in a sector where employee attrition is a key challenge, further exacerbated by an ageing workforce.’

The original Australian study by Shacklock and Brunetto (2012) and the present study looked at factors related to wishing to continue in work across three generations: in order, the so-called ‘Baby boomers’ and Generations X and Y; the last being the youngest. The variables included were: work–family conflict; work attachment; and importance of work to the individual. In the Australian study there were difference across the generations; however, in the UK there were no discernible differences which challenged accepted strategies. The authors say: ‘This suggests that differentiated approaches to retention should perhaps not be pursued in this sectoral context.’ In terms of the three variables, regression analysis showed that they worked together across the generations in the UK to influence continuation intention.

Robson A, Robson F (2014) Do nurses wish to continue working for the UK National Health Service?A comparative study of three generations of nurses Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10·1111/jan.12468

Shacklock KH, Brunetto Y (2012) Theintention to continue nursing: work variables affecting three nurse generationsin Australia Journal of Advanced Nursing 68, 36–46

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