UNAIR Expert: Nurse Retention Important to Know

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Nurse is one of the main health professionals in the health system that experiences a crisis. Both in terms of quantity, type and quality. It is estimated that the world experienced a shortage of 7.6 million nurses by the end of 2030.

According to Universitas Airlangga Faculty of Nursing’s lecturer Ferry Efendi RN, M.Sc, Ph.D., the situation will worsen if the government or related stakeholders do not make strategic and systematic efforts to maintain nurses in their workplaces.

“The effort to retain nurses is known as nurse retention,” he said.

Nurse retention, he continued, is widely recognized as an important international workforce issue, but the concept remains ambiguous. So far, continued Ferry, no concept analysis of nurse retention was developed to clarify the concept or meaning despite a lot of research, reviews, and policies on the issue of health human resources.

“Given the variability of terms and definitions used, an analysis on the concept of nurse retention is needed to obtain clarity and better understanding on the phenomenon of nurse retention,” he said.

For this reason, Ferry conducted a study aimed at testing the concept of nurse retention, both for identifying attributes, antecedents, and determining consequences. Comprehensive analysis, for him, will contribute to building awareness on the use of retention in health issues and the nursing profession.

“Better understanding will lead to the development and adoption of evidence-based recruitment and retention initiatives in health facilities that effectively address current and future shortages of nursing workforce,” he explained.

In the end, Ferry said, nurse retention is a complex and dynamic concept that involves psychological, managerial, political, and health aspects. The concept, said Ferry, has four defining attributes. These are individual motivations and decisions, strategies and interventions, geographical contexts, and attachment to work.

Nurse retention, he added, is driven by external factors at the macro level of the health system and health facilities, as well as personal or individual factors. The level of nurse retention, has consequences for the nurse itself, the health care organization where the nurse works, and finally for the national and international community.

“Based on the analysis of this concept, it is clear that a comprehensive strategy is needed to recruit and retain professional nurses effectively in an organization. These strategies will vary depending on the culture and management of the organization, “he stated.

Author: Nuri Hermawan

Editor : Khefti Al MAwalia

Details of the study available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nhs.12629


Efendi, F. et al. 2019 ‘Concept analysis of nurse retention’, Nursing & Health Sciences, p. nhs.12629. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12629.

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