Rapid turnover of novice nurses eventually results in a shortage of veteran nurses. This study aimed to clarify the factors affecting rapid turnover of novice nurses in a prospective manner. We carried out an investigation in 20 university hospitals whose directors of nursing service departments accepted our request to cooperate with our research program. These hospitals were selected from all of the 102 university hospitals listed in The Hospital Catalog of Japan. The subjects were 1,203 novice hospital nurses who gave their informed consent for participation in our study. The questionnaires, which dealt with burnout, assertiveness, stressful life events, reality shock, ward assignment preference, transfer preference, job satisfaction (workplace, salary, workload, and overtime), social support and coping mechanisms were completed by 923 novice nurses in June 2003. Then, their turnover was investigated in December 2003. Thirty-seven novice nurses (4.0%) quit during this period. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the factors affecting rapid turnover were 1) graduation from vocational nursing schools, 2) dissatisfaction with assignment to a ward contrary to their desire, and 3) no peers for support. Assignment of novice nurses to wards they choose as far as possible, avoidance of assigning novice nurses to wards alone, and establishment of a support system for nurses who graduate from vocational nursing schools seem to be important for preventing rapid turnover of novice nurses.
2006 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health