Nursing Research – My Nursing Assignment

The article under review is a qualitative research by Carol IsaackanPtleneMinick titled “Why are nurses leaving? Findings from an initial qualitative study on nursing attrition.” The article was published in MEDSURG Nursing in November/December 2010, volume 19 issue number 6. The issues being investigated is related to the shortage of registered nurses in the clinical area, particularly the factors leading to the shortage. The researchers wanted to find out why registered nurses leave have a tendency of leaving the clinical area after a few years of clinical practice. The findings/results of the study are very significant in nursing practice and can be implemented to save the profession from such shortages.
The issue being investigated is very significant to nursing and nursing practice. While many studies/researches have been conducted in the clinical area, Mackkusick and Minick (2010, p. 335) argues that only a few studies have been done regarding the reasons why registered nurses have a tendency to leave the clinical area after a few years of practice. As a result, inadequate data exist regarding this important area of nursing. Shortage of nursing staff is very implicating to patient outcomes. According to the American Nurses Association (2014), the shortage of nurses has led to many nurses working for long hours in stressful conditions, causing a lot of fatigue and tiredness. Investigating the factors contributing to this problem is vital, since a plausible solution can be designed with such understanding. In lieu of this, the study aimed at investigating the factors that lead to registered nurses leaving the clinical area after a few years of practice. Similarly, the main objective of the paper was to identify the factors that influence the very decision of registered nurses to leave the clinical practice after a few years of practice. The study aimed at answering the question: What is the experience of registered nurses who leave clinical nursing (Mackkusick and Minick, 2010, P. 336)? The researchers conceptualized and hypothesized that there are a multiple of factors that influence the decision by registered nurses to leave the clinical area after a few years.
Methods of Study:
The study is a qualitative one in nature. The researchers in the article under review used a phenomenological design to analyze the decision of registered nurses to leave the clinical area. Since a definitive research did not exist that concerned the topic, they did an interpretive qualitative study. As supported by Patton (2002), such interpretive, hermeneutic phenomenology was the best design for the study of this kind. The researchers obtained data through questionnaires by the use of semi-structured interviews. They interviewed the nurses who had left the clinical area for more than six months, after practicing for a year or more. For the recruitment, the researchers used purposive sampling. As advised by Patton (2002), the recruitment of the population of the study was done through a snowballing technique. The researchers were careful to include only nurses had their licenses valid, hence could be identified easily as nurses even though they were not in clinical practice (Mackkusick and Minick, 2010). The researchers did recruitment over the telephone, with the assistance of nurses who were already in practice, and they knew nurses (their colleagues) who had left the practice. The interviews were audiotaped, and the interviewers received a copy of the transcripts for clarification as data analysis continued.
Results of the Study:
After analyzing the data, the researchers came up with the themes they fund concerning their topic of investigation. The first factor that the registered nurses reported as having influenced their decision to leave the clinical area is unfriendly workplace. All the nurses interviewed reiterated that they suffered lack of support when they joined the profession. Surprisingly, many nurses reported that they were belittled at work and even harassed, some to the extent of being harassed sexually. The most frustrating aspect of unfriendly work as reported by the registered nurses is the lack of support from fellow nurses and managers (Mackkusick and Minick, 2010). The behavior just made some of these nurses to quit the profession. The other factor is emotional distress related to patient care. The nurses reported that, in may instances, they felt “left alone” to care for critically ill patients. They could not avoid emotional distress. The third theme reported by the nurses is fatigue and exhaustion. Working long hours in stressing conditions led to fatigue and exhaustion. As a result, many nurses opted to leave work.
The findings are very significant to the practice of nursing. Nurse administrators can use the results to implement change in their units by, for example, instituting frameworks to support fellow nurses and other staff. Education-wise, such issues can be incorporated in the nursing curriculum in order to build nurses who care about the profession and colleagues (Mackkusick and Minick, 2010). The findings can also be implemented in other areas of nursing to aIDress the factors that lead to nurses leaving the clinical area after a short while.
Ethical Considerations:
The study was approved by the review board of Georgia State University (Mackkusick and Minick, 2010)
In sum, the article followed the procedures of conducting research, in terms of the scientific research process and ethics. The researchers were clear about the need to do the research, and they analyzed their research in a scientific manner. The findings are very significant in nursing, and can be applied in various areas of nursing to better patient outcomes.
American Nurses Association (ANA). (2014). Nursing shortage. Retrieved from
Mackusick, C. I., &Minick, P. (2010).Why are nurses leaving? Findings from an initial qualitative study on nursing attrition.MEDSURG Nursing, 19(6), 335-340.
Patton, Q. M. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rded). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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