Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Improving Nurse Retention in the British National Health Service: The Impact of Job Satisfaction on Intentions to Quit.

By Michael A. Shields and Melanie E. Ward


In recent years the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain has experienced an acute shortage of\ud qualified nurses. This has placed issues of recruitment and retention in the profession high on the\ud political agenda. In this paper we investigate the determinants of job satisfaction for nurses, and\ud establish the importance of job satisfaction in determining nurses’ intentions to quit the NHS. We find\ud that nurses who report overall dissatisfaction with their jobs have a 65% higher probability of intending\ud to quit than those reporting to be satisfied. However, dissatisfaction with promotion and training\ud opportunities are found to have a stronger impact than workload or pay. Recent policies, which focus\ud heavily on improving the pay of all NHS nurses will only have limited success unless they are\ud accompanied by, improved promotion and training opportunities. Better retention will, in turn, lead to\ud reduced workload

Topics: nurses, job satisfaction, quitting intentions, principal component analysis
Publisher: Dept. of Economics, University of Leicester
Year: 2000
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1992). A Meta-Analytic Structural Equations Analysis of a Model of Employee Turnover. doi
  2. (1995). A Re-examination of the Relationship between Union membership and Job Satisfaction. doi
  3. (1984). A Review and Meta-Analysis of Research on the Relationship between Behavioural intentions and Employee Turnover. doi
  4. (1996). Are “Overpaid” Workers really unhappy? A Test of the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. doi
  5. (1977). Economic Aspects of Job Satisfaction. In: doi
  6. (1995). Economic Determinants of the Labour Force withdrawal of Registered Nurses. doi
  7. (1999). Essays in Labor Market Analysis. doi
  8. (1990). Establishment Size, Job Satisfaction and Structure of Work. doi
  9. (1992). Explaining NHS staff Turnover: A Local Labour Market Approach, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Final Report from Department of Health,
  10. (1971). Factor Analysis as a Statistical Method. 2nd edn, doi
  11. (1997). Finders, Keepers. The Management of Staff Turnover in the NHS Trusts. Audit Commission,
  12. (2000). Gender, Race, Pay and Promotion in the British Nursing Profession: Estimation of a Generalised Ordered Probit Model. doi
  13. (1996). In the Balance: Registered Nurse Supply and Demand. The Institute for Employment Studies,
  14. (1996). Is Job Satisfaction U-shaped in Age? doi
  15. (1995). Is Utility Relative? Evidence from Household Data,
  16. (1997). Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why are women so Happy at Work? doi
  17. (1978). Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable. doi
  18. (1996). Job Satisfaction in Britain. doi
  19. (1975). Job Satisfaction, Counterproductive Behaviour and Drug use at work. doi
  20. (1998). Job Satisfaction, Trade Unions and Exit-Voice Revisited. doi
  21. (1999). Job Satisfaction, Wage changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany. doi
  22. (1979). Job Satisfaction, Wages and Unions. doi
  23. (1988). Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the US. doi
  24. (1999). Non-Pecuniary Advantages versus Pecuniary Disadvantages, Job Satisfaction among Male and Female Academics in Scottish Universities. doi
  25. (1995). Nurses’ Labor Supply: Participation, Hours of Work, and Discontinuities in the Supply Function. doi
  26. (1995). Nursing: The Next Generation. The Institute for Employment Studies,
  27. (1996). Over the Edge: UNISON’s Evidence to the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Pay Review Body.
  28. (1983). Psychology of Employee Lateness, Absence and Turnover: A Methodological Critique and an Empirical Study. doi
  29. (1995). Qualified Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors.
  30. (1981). Race Differences in Job Satisfaction: A Reappraisal. doi
  31. (1999). Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Quit, Mimeo, doi
  32. (1997). Relative Wages and Exit Behaviour among Registered Nurses. doi
  33. (1997). Review Body for Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine,
  34. (1996). Satisfaction, and Comparison Income. doi
  35. (1988). Satisfaction, Market Wages and Labor Relations: An Airline Study. doi
  36. (1985). Strategies for Reducing Employee Turnover; A Meta-Analysis. doi
  37. (1997). Taking Part: Registered Nurses and the Labour Market in 1997. The Institute for Employment Studies, doi
  38. (1998). The Effects of Sexual Harassment on Job satisfaction, Earnings, and Turnover among Female Lawyers. doi
  39. (1996). The Effects of Wages on the Retention of Nurses.
  40. (1979). The Employment of Nurses: Nursing Labour Turnover in the NHS. Croom Helm,
  41. (1990). The Relationship between Unions and Job Satisfaction. doi
  42. (1997). The UK Nursing Labour Market. Unpublished report for the Royal College of Nursing.
  43. (1990). Trade Unions and Job satisfaction. doi
  44. (1987). Unemployment, Job satisfaction and Employee Turnover: A MetaAnalytic Test of the Muchinsky Model. doi
  45. (1998). Well Being and the Workplace. In
  46. (1998). What makes and Entrepreneur? doi
  47. (1999). What Really Matters in a Job? Hedonic Measurement using Quit Data. Mimeo, Universite d’ doi
  48. (1994). Workloads, Pay and Morale of Qualified Nurses in 1994. The Institute for Employment Studies,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.