AbstractsMedical & Health Science

Accelerated staff turnover among professional nurses at a district hospital

by Gladys Nosisana Toni

Institution: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Department: Faculty of Health Sciences
Degree: MA
Year: 2007
Keywords: Labor turnover  – South Africa  – Eastern Cape; Nurses  – Employment  – South Africa  – Eastern Cape; Hospitals  – South Africa  – Eastern Cape  – Personnel management
Record ID: 1432324
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10948/620


The study emanated from the researcher’s experience and involvement in clinical nursing and nursing management. The researcher noted how heavy losses of recruited professional nurses might have had an influence on the quality of service delivery. It is a costly and time-consuming task to recruit enough nurses into the profession and retention of staff is especially difficult. There had been a significant increase in the number of professional nurses leaving the district hospitals either to primary health care service, private hospitals or other countries. Before the commencement of the study the turnover rate at the district hospital where the study was conducted, almost doubled the accepted norm, which was ten percent of the staff. For those reasons the researcher decided to conduct a study named, “Accelerated staff turnover among professional nurses at a district hospital.” The constant heavy losses of qualified nurses from the profession constitute one of the serious challenges for nursing managers. The researcher wanted answers to the following question: “What were your experiences of your job as a professional nurse at the district hospital?” The objectives of the study were: · to explore and describe factors leading to high staff turnover of professional nurses at a district hospital · to develop guidelines to help retain professional nurses. The design of this study, which was conducted in one of the district hospitals in the Makana Local Service Area in the Eastern Cape, is qualitative, descriptive and contextual. Informed permission for conducting the research was obtained from relevant authorities and participants were asked to sign a consent form before the researcher proceeded with the study. Participants that met the selection criteria were selected by means of purposive sampling. Data was obtained by means of semi-structured telephonic interviews that were audio-taped and later transcribed verbatim. To ensure trustworthiness of the study, the researcher applied the four strategies as proposed by Lincoln and Guba (De Vos, 2002:351) namely, credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability. Collected data was analysed according to the descriptive method proposed by Tesch (in Creswell, 1994:154). The services of an independent coder, who was provided with transcripts and a protocol to guide data analysis, were utilised. A consensus meeting was held between the researcher and the independent coder to discuss the identified themes and sub-themes. Following the data analysis, a literature control was undertaken to highlight the similarities to and differences in comparison between this and previous studies. Four major themes and sub-themes were identified through analysis