Retaining nurses in a changing health care environment: The role of job embeddedness and self-efficacy

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Because nurses are on the front lines of care delivery, they are subject to frequent changes to their work practices. This change-laden environment puts nurses at higher risk for turnover. Given the frequent disruption to the way nurses perform their jobs, change-related self-efficacy (CSE), or confidence that one can handle change, may be vital to their retention.


The purpose of this article is to examine the roles of CSE and job embeddedness in reducing turnover intentions among nurses. Specifically, this article tests a model in which CSE is the intervening mechanism through which job embeddedness influences turnover intentions.


Drawing on a sample of 207 nurses working in the medical/surgical unit of a major metropolitan hospital in the United States, this study employs OLS regression to test for direct effects of job embeddedness and CSE on turnover intentions and bias-corrected bootstrapping to test for the indirect effects of job embeddedness on turnover intentions through CSE.


Results show that CSE is directly linked to turnover intentions, and the effects of job embeddedness on turnover intentions become fully manifest through CSE.

Practice Implications:

Improved nurse retention may lead to stable patient care and less disruption in service delivery. Improved retention also benefits health care organizations financially, as costs of replacing a nurse can exceed 100% of the salary for the position. Given the shortage of nurses in some geographic areas, retention remains an important goal.

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