Factors affecting the turnover of novice nurses at university hospitals: A two year longitudinal study

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Novice nurses' rapid turnover is one of the big factors leading to the shortage of nurses. We identified the factors that affected the turnover of novice nurses in a 2 year study period.


The subjects consisted of 1023 novice nurses at 20 university hospitals that gave consent to participate in the study. We began a cohort study in June 2003, obtained valid responses from 923 nurses, and confirmed their turnover in December 2003, June 2004, and March 2005.


From the baseline of June 2003, 124 nurses quit and 117 nurses retired in these 2 years. After conducting variable selection by stepwise analysis, an analysis using the Cox regression model found that the turnover risk was 1.6-fold higher in nurses lacking support from their peers, 2.2-fold higher in those nurses who were slightly dissatisfied with their job, and 3.2-fold higher in those nurses who were very dissatisfied with their job. When examining the characteristics of the nurses lacking support from their peers and of those dissatisfied with their job, both tended to burnout and lacked support from senior nurses or their supervisor.


For novice nurses, having no support from their peers and being dissatisfied with their job strongly affect their turnover. As the support from senior nurses and their supervisor are important and there is a high possibility that burnout can affect turnover, the importance of preparing a good job environment for novice nurses has been suggested.

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