Nearly 1 in 5 nurses leaves first job within a year, survey finds

Nearly 18 percent of newly licensed registered nurses leave their first nursing job within the first year, and roughly 34 percent leave within two years, according to a study in Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice.

RN turnover is costly for hospitals, as its organizational costs can reach $6.4 million for large acute-care hospitals. However, researchers found turnover rates are lower for new nurses in hospitals than in other healthcare settings.

The study was conducted by the RN Work Project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Researchers analyzed existing turnover data and reported turnover data from surveys of new RNs conducted since 2006.

The study authors noted different kinds of nurse turnover, and that turnover is sometimes helpful, such as when a poorly functioning employee leaves. They recommend organizations pay attention to the type of turnover happening in their facilities.

"A high rate of turnover at a hospital, if it's voluntary, could be problematic," said Carol Brewer, PhD, RN, professor at the School of Nursing, University at Buffalo. "But if it's involuntary or if nurses are moving within the hospital to another unit or position, that tells a very different story."

More articles on nurse turnover:
3 biggest causes of nurse turnover
Survey: Nurses feel bullied at work
Nurse optimism faces generation gap, survey says

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