Date of Award


Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Carol Rossman


Nurse turnover has become a universal problem in recent years, causing nurses to bear the burden of higher patient loads, working overtime hours, and dealing with unfavorable working conditions. Nurses sometimes feel they have no voice to fight for them while they struggle at the bedside to improve patient outcomes. The purpose of this project was to be a voice for the nurses to inform the hospital administration on data driven results on how nurse turnover can be reduced, with the goal that the proposed nurse retention strategies will be implemented in this community hospital.

This was a qualitative project that used the phenomenological approach to explore the nurses' lived experiences on what they thought caused nurse turnover and what can lead to nurse retention. Purposive sampling was used to select 14 participants from all four medical-surgical units and three transfer units. The project included registered nurses who had worked over six months in their current units. Semi-structured open-ended interview questions were used to conduct Zoom interviews. Verbatim transcription was used to transcribe all these interviews. Inductive and deductive analyses were used to analyze this qualitative data. Data were pre-coded and then coded into broader themes using NVivo 12 system.

Eight broad themes emerged as causes of nurse turnover. Financial issues, job satisfaction issues, management issues, nurses’ fears, lack of resources, patient care issues, work environment, and workload issues. Out of these themes, ten major recommendations were put forth to the hospital administration to help inform them of strategies that can be used to retain nurses. The significance of this project is to propose data-driven changes that can lead to nurse retention, such as reducing patient-to-nurse ratios and providing nurses with resources that can improve their work environment and eventually lead to job satisfaction.

Subject Area

Nurse turnover; Nurses--Job satisfaction; Labor turnover; Hospitals--Middle West