As new generations of nurses enter the workforce, questions abound. What influences a new graduate’s job choice? How long do they expect to stay? Why do some of them want to leave? Professors Christine T. Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Carol S. Brewer, PhD, RN, are spearheading an in-depth study to find answers to some of these critical questions. And thanks to a recent $4.1 million grant, in addition to $1.9 million in earlier funding, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the research is now funded into 2015.
“There is a lot of information floating around about new graduates,” says Kovner, who has been at New York University since 1985. “But, in my opinion, there is no solid, systematic research.”
Already, that is changing.
The study, which tracks more than 3,000 nurses from 35 states, touches on a variety of topics including workplace experience, relationships with managers, and violence against nurses. Some early highlights from the first few years of the study include:
- About 66% of newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs) worked a 12-hour shift
- Poor management was cited as the top professional reason for leaving a first job
- About 62% of NLRNs reported at least one incidence of verbal abuse
- 27.2% of NLRNs who had worked at least 13 months in nursing had already left their first job
- Nearly 60% of NLRNs reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs
- 41% of NLRNs planned to stay in their first jobs for less than three years
- The median income for NLRNs was $45,000
- The most important work characteristics to new RNs are “the ability to do the job well” and “being rewarded fairly for the work”
What are your impressions of these early study findings?