AIM: To investigate the views of senior nurse and human resource managers of strategies to retain hospital nurses in a metropolitan area.
BACKGROUND: Against a global shortage, retaining nurses is a management imperative for the quality of hospital services.
METHOD: Semi-structured interviews, thematically analysed.
RESULTS: Metropolitan areas have many health organisations in geographical proximity, offering nurses choices in employer and employment. Senior nurse and human resource managers recognised the complexity of factors influencing nurse turnover, including those that 'pulled' nurses out of their jobs to other posts and factors that 'pushed' nurses to leave. Four themes emerged in retaining nurses: strategy and leadership, including analysis of workforce and leavers' data, remuneration, the type of nursing work and career development and the immediate work environment.
CONCLUSIONS: In contexts where multiple organisations compete for nurses, addressing retention through strategic leadership is likely to be important in paying due attention and apportioning resources to effective strategies.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Aside from good human resource management practices for all, strategies tailored to different segments of the nursing workforce are likely to be important. This metropolitan study suggests attention should be paid to strategies that address remuneration, progressing nursing careers and the immediate work environment.