Evaluating the late career nurse initiative: a cross-sectional survey of senior nurses in Ontario

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AimThis study evaluated the impact of the late career nurse initiative on nurse perceptions of their work environment, workplace burnout, job satisfaction, organisational commitment and intention to remain.BackgroundThe Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care introduced the late career nurse initiative with the goal of improving the retention of front-line nurses aged 55 and over by implementing a 0.20 full-time equivalent reduction of physically or psychologically demanding duties, enabling nurses to engage in special projects for the improvement of their organisations and patient care.MethodsA sample of 902 nurses aged 55 and over from acute and long-term care facilities were surveyed using valid and reliable questionnaires.ResultsNurses who had participated in the initiative did not differ significantly from those who had not in terms of workplace burnout, job satisfaction, length of service or intention to remain within their current organisation. The late career nurse initiative participants reported significantly higher perceptions of managers' ability, leadership and support and their level of participation in hospital affairs.ConclusionThe late career nurse initiative was associated with perceived differences in nurses' work environment but not outcomes.Implications for nursing managementLeaders need to pay attention to how late career nurses are selected and matched to organisational projects.

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