Journal of Nursing Management;26(8)
Aims: This study investigates the prevalence of nurses’ wishes to leave work in elderly care services and aims to explain differences between younger and older nurses. Background: Health-and-care services, and specifically elderly care services, experience problems recruiting and retaining nurses. Method: A nationwide survey among nurses in Norway with 4,945 nurses aged 20–73 (mean age = 41.8), 95% female. Structural equation modelling was used, analysing the whole sample as well as analysing younger and older nurses as separate groups. Results: Of the nurses surveyed, 25% wanted to work outside elderly care services and 25% were uncertain. The wish to leave was much more frequent among younger nurses. Reported working conditions were a strong predictor of the wish to leave, and a much stronger predictor among younger nurses than older nurses in nursing homes. Conclusions: Working conditions are a major predictor of nurses’ wishes to leave elderly care services, especially among younger nurses in nursing homes. Implications for Nursing Management: Attempts to reduce turnover in elderly care services need to address the working conditions for younger nurses, for instance by reducing the time young nurses work in isolation.