Intent to stay in nursing: internal and external migration in Hungary

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Aims.To estimate the proportion of nurses in Hungary who intend to change their profession or want to migrate abroad; to compare the proportion of nurses who intend to leave nursing in Hungary and in selected European countries; and to describe factors that predict nurses' intent to work in their current job another year.Design.An exploratory research design with subsequent comparison was used, and a cross-sectional mail survey was implemented.Methods.Measures of intent to leave, to work another year as well as indicators of push and pull factors were identified and adopted from a literature review. One thousand nurses were randomly selected and mailed a questionnaire. Comparison was made with the results from the NEXT study. For statistical analyses, linear and logistic regression was used to predict nurses' intention to leave and proportional z-test for making comparisons.Results.Nurses (n = 754) responded the questionnaire. Approximately half of the sample did not consider changing to another health care job or leaving the profession. Compared with Hungary, the proportion of nurses who intended to leave nursing was significantly lower in Belgium and the Netherlands but was greater or the same in the rest of the European countries. Speaking a foreign language was the most significant predictor of working abroad for Hungarian nurses. Number of shifts, satisfaction with flexible scheduling and managerial support were all relevant predictors of working another year as a nurse.Conclusions.Both the intent to leave nursing and migrating abroad were prevalent issues in Hungary. Working conditions and social/managerial support were key factors identified as strong predictors of stay in the same job for another year. Compared with other European countries, Hungary was not in a worse position in the proportion of nurses wanting to leave nursing.Relevance to clinical practice.All hospital managers and head nurses should be aware of their role in keeping nurses in the clinical practice and avoid staff nurses migration from the Hungarian health care system.

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