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  1. Kramer, Marlene PhD, RN, MSN, FAAN
  2. Halfer, Diana MSN, RN, NEA-BC
  3. Maguire, Pat MN, RN, NEA-BC
  4. Schmalenberg, Claudia MSN, RN


The objective of the study was to examine effects of nurse-confirmed healthy unit work environments and multistage nurse residency programs (NRPs) on retention rates of newly licensed RNs (NLRNs). Establishing a culture of retention and healthy clinical nurse practice environments are two major challenges confronting nurse leaders today. Nurse residency programs are a major component of NLRN work environments and have been shown to be effective in abating nurse turnover. Sample for this study consisted of 5,316 new graduates in initial RN roles in 28 Magnet(R) hospitals. There were no differences in retention rates by education or patient population on clinical unit. NLRN retention rate was higher in community than in academic hospitals. More than half of NLRNs were placed on units with very healthy work environments. Newly licensed RNs on units with work environments needing improvement resigned at a significantly higher rate than did other NLRNs. The quality of clinical unit work environments is the most important factor in NLRN retention.