The Impact of Barriers to Care on Nurses’ Intentions to Leave London Hospitals

Reeves, Rachel, West, Elizabeth and Barron, David (2005) The Impact of Barriers to Care on Nurses’ Intentions to Leave London Hospitals. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 10 (1). pp. 5-9.


Objectives: Previous research on nurse retention has focused mainly on its relationship with employment conditions. This study aimed to include an examination of the impact of nurses' perceived barriers to delivering high-quality patient-centred care on their intentions to leave their current employers.

Methods: An American employee questionnaire was adapted for use with British nurses. The questionnaire was mailed to 6160 nurses directly employed by 20 London hospitals. Up to two reminders were sent to non-responders. The questionnaire asked nurses to report on experiences in their working lives and to state their intentions to leave or stay with their current employer. Demographic and employment history information was also elicited.

Results: Responses were received from 2880 (47%). Nurses report that the care they are able to provide often falls short of recognised standards. Factor analysis combined 82 questions on nurses' experiences into four patient-centred and four nurse-centred dimensions. Nurses who report more problems in both nurse-centred and patient-centred dimensions are more likely to intend to leave their current employers. Satisfaction with pay and the cleanliness of work areas are also important factors.

Conclusions: Standards of care are often perceived by nurses to be unacceptably poor. Furthermore, their experience of barriers to care has a demonstrable impact on their decision to leave or stay with their current employer. Nurse managers need to address the perceived barriers to providing high-quality care when considering nurse retention strategies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: nursing; health service; job satisfaction
Subject(s): Organisational behaviour
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2011 18:31
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 14:47

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