Recruitment and retention of qualified nurses in aged care

Essay by vickylodicUniversity, Bachelor's August 2008

download word file, 12 pages 5.0

Introduction A shortage of nurses is a worldwide recurring problem that negatively affects the health of patients in both short and long-term care. In Australia this is particularly felt in aged care services due to an aging population. According to the Australian Labor Party (ALP) our aged care services are at risk due to the lack of qualified staff which prevents the expansion and development of these services (Official ALP website, 2007). Statistics on nursing jobs and workers indicate many qualified nurses are not working in their field or intend to stop working as nurses. As many as 24,564 nurses are not looking for work in nursing, annual turnover rates are up to 100% in some areas and job vacancy rates are up to 20% (ALP 2007, Judith 2002). These statistics highlight a need to identify factors that would encourage qualified staff to return to or enter the workforce in order to meet future health care demands.

This essay looks at the factors involved in the recruitment and retention of nurses and the ways the nursing profession can reduce these issues.

Retention of Nurses in Aged Care I. The Perception and Working Conditions in Aged Care The current perceptions and working conditions of aged care are key factors in why there exists a shortage of nurses. It is an area of nursing which is often perceived as having little opportunity to cure patients and to experience the satisfaction of seeing them recover. A large proportion of qualified nurses view the aged care sector negatively (Andrews & Dziegielewski, 2005). Aged care lacks the positive outcomes of other care areas and hence is a key issue contributing to the shortage of nursing. Kuehn (1990) discussed factors related to aged care working conditions such as lack of collegiality and a lack of...