Author(s): Darvas JA, Hawkins LG
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Abstract With the high prevalence of nursing shortages and low staff retention rates in many Australian intensive care units (ICUs), we aimed to determine what factors were important to nurses working in an ICU. Of all the nursing specialties in New South Wales, intensive care was reported to have had the fifth highest vacancy rate from June 2000-January 2001. A questionnaire was distributed to 36 nurses in a major metropolitan ICU. The response rate was 32 (89 per cent). The ICU has had high staff retention rates and low vacancy rates for a number of years. We were interested to document what factors made this unit a popular one to work in. Factors that were of greatest importance to most nurses were those that dealt with nursing unit management and medical staff. Other factors that rated highly included the ability to self-roster, some aspects of working relationships and having an active role in patient care issues. The survey informed us that nurses at this study site were mostly satisfied with these aspects. Previous studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between job satisfaction and turnover rates amongst nurses. The results of this study highlight the importance of good nursing management and various aspects of the nursing role in attaining job satisfaction in the workplace. These key factors play an important role in achieving high staff retention and low vacancy rates.
This article was published in Aust Crit Care
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology