Original Research

Turning the tide: Registered nurses' job withdrawal intentions in a Finnish university hospital

Hanna M. Salminen
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 2 | a410 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i2.410 | © 2012 Hanna M. Salminen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 2011 | Published: 17 February 2012

About the author(s)

Hanna M. Salminen, School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä, Finland


Orientation: Given the global shortage of registered nurses, it is important to investigate the intentions for job withdrawal of nurses, and resolve these, in order to retain nurses in the field.

Research purpose: The objective was to examine the intentions for job withdrawal of ageing and younger nurses, and the antecedents of these intentions, with special reference to job control and perceived development opportunities. The age of 45 was adopted as a starting point when referring to ageing employees.

Motivation for the study: Different forms of job withdrawal have rarely been studied together and associated.

Research design, approach and method: A quantitative study was applied with logistic regression analyses. Respondents were registered nurses working in a university hospital in Finland. The response rate was 46.1% (N = 343).

Main findings: A quarter (25%) of the nurses had frequently thought about leaving the profession and 19% of the nurses had thought about taking early retirement. Factors that increased the likelihood of intentions for occupational turnover were young age, low job satisfaction, low organisational commitment, low work ability and skills in balance with or above present work demands. The intention to take early retirement was increased with older age, being male, working shifts, low work ability, low job satisfaction and poor job control.

Practical/managerial implications: A nurse’s job satisfaction and work ability should be regularly monitored and opportunities should be offered them, to apply their skills and to control their work, in order to retain them.

Contribution/value–added: The article added information about the factors that contribute to a nurse’s intentions for job withdrawal.


Human Resource Management; retirement; nursing profession; survey; Finland


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doi: 10.1002/nop2.240