first position, intent to stay, job choice, new graduate nurse, retention



  1. Hewitt, Peggy MSN, RN
  2. Lackey, Sarah A. MSN, RN, CCNS
  3. Letvak, Susan PhD, RN, FAAN


Aim: The aim was to survey nurses with 2 to 3 years' experience to determine what factors were involved in the choice of their first nursing position and if they were still in that position.


Background: A false sense that the nursing shortage has ended has occurred with nurses delaying retirement until the economy improves. However, the turnover rate still shows 26% of registered nurses leaving their first hospital position within 2 years.


Methods: New graduate nurses were surveyed to determine if nursing was what they expected, what led them to their first position, if they were still in their first position, and factors that may have influenced these decisions. The 159 respondents also commented on their intent to stay and gave free-text responses.


Results: Significant difference was found between the current unit worked with both the unit wanted while in nursing school and the unit wanted upon graduation. Positive and negative narrative comments shed light on factors influencing intent to stay.


Conclusion: Nurses are concerned with ability to deliver safe care, supportive management, and teamwork.


Implications for Nursing Management: Recommendations were made for nursing management in creating an environment of continued learning and teamwork to support new graduate nurses.