The lived experiences of registered nurses in the acute care setting who are intending to leave their hospital organizations


December 2022

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The aim of the study was to determine the lived experience of registered nurses in the acute hospital setting who experience Intent to Leave their hospital organizations. This is important to study since professional turnover may lead to an inadequate supply of nurses. A qualitative descriptive approach was used based on phenomenology as the philosophical orientation. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants who had at least three years’ experience registered nurses in an acute care hospital organization who experienced the phenomenon of Intent to Leave during that time. Seven interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide to answer six research questions: Describe the most recent time you experienced Intent to Leave over the past 36 months. Describe what you consider the most important factor or experience for your Intention to Leave. How has the pandemic influenced your Intent to Leave the facility. Can you describe or give me an example(s) of what makes it difficult to leave? What's it like to continue working when you have decided to leave? What could influence you to stay? Emerging themes included feeling care was not safe, a lack of security for their licensure, unrealistic workloads, and experiencing a sense of abandonment from leadership. When considering what would lead to intent to stay, three themes emerged including feeling their workloads were manageable, having a healthy work environment which included time for self-care during their shifts, and having adequate training to provide safe care. Future studies on Intent to Leave may help mitigate this phenomenon by revealing new or further supporting the themes identified in this study. Keywords: intent to leave, intention to leave, retention, turnover, turnover intention work satisfaction, nurse job satisfaction, nurses, nursing, registered nurses, and hospitals.