n Journal of Public Administration - Determinants of nurse turnover at a public hospital : the narratives of public hospital managers

Volume 53 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767


The purpose of this study was to determine the narratives of public hospital managers and nurses in management about the determinants of nurse turnover. The literature reveals that the determinants of nurse turnover are at individual, organisational and industry levels. The turnover model showing determinants at these levels was developed by Mobley in the early 1980s. The research design was qualitative and cross-sectional. A purposive sampling technique was used to select participants (i.e. n=5 hospital managers and n=4 nurses in management). Data was analysed manually, and the themes (i.e. individual, organisational and industry) that emerged were analysed using content analysis. The major finding was that the turnover rate of nurses was double-digit (i.e. more than 10%). Remuneration, working hours and career opportunities were individual turnover determinants. Hospital management, working relationship, labour market forces and no retention plan were organisational and industry determinants of nurse turnover rate. The implication for managers is that they might have disgruntled nurses who will not implement the provincial strategy. If managers conduct a job satisfaction survey, they might understand factors that create difficult or conducive working conditions. If policymakers fail to develop remuneration policies that are in line with the labour market, they will also contribute to nurse turnover rate and struggle to retain them.

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