Challenging and redesigning a new model to explain intention to leave nursing

Paul F Slater, M Roos, S Eskola, Brendan McCormack, N Hahtela, Kaisa Kurjenluoma, Tarja Suominen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


Background: It is important to have a full and detailed understanding of the factors that influence intention to leave nursing. It has been shown to be the best predictor of actual turnover, and turnover has a significant financial impact and also on the provision of care. Aims: The aim is to examine the impact of predictive work environment factors on nurses’ intention to leave their position and to explore contributing factors. Methods: Cross-sectional survey using a convenience sample (n = 605) of Finnish nurses drawn from five clinical settings. The Nursing Context Index, an internationally used and psychometrically validated tool, was used to measure workplace practice environment, work stress, job satisfaction and intention to leave. A response rate of 29.4% was achieved, exceeding power calculation estimates. Results: Personal satisfaction and satisfaction with profession and resources, and organisational commitment were significantly related to intention to leave. Younger nurses reported higher levels of intention to leave and there was variability among clinical specialties. Measures of stress and practice environment had no significant relationship with intention to leave. Discussion: This study provides a new theoretical model for understanding intention to leave. Having a better understanding of the factors that may help reduce intention to leave allows for targeted interventions to be developed and implemented. This would help reduce the personal and financial implications associated with turnover. Implications for practice, policy, management and education: The findings have significant implications for all aspects of nursing. Educators need to prepare new nursing staff for the working environment; policymakers must ensure that nursing satisfaction is promoted to strengthen organisational commitment and nurse managers and leaders respond accordingly in implementing effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-635
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished online - 22 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic College of Caring Science


  • intention to leave
  • nursing context index
  • practice environment
  • workplace
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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