Retaining nurses: the impact of Ontario's "70% full-time commitment"

Health Policy. 2012 Sep;107(1):54-65. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2012.05.013. Epub 2012 Jul 17.


Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a nurse retention strategy, the "70% Full-Time Commitment", in retaining part-time and casual nurses in Ontario's nurse profession.

Methods: Using the College of Nurses of Ontario database, a longitudinal dataset for all nurses registered with the college from 1993 to 2006 was created (N=216,353). One-year transition probabilities of nurse employment status (full-time, part-time and casual) were conducted (1993-2009) to generate trends of nurses' likelihood to stay in, switch or leave their full-time, part-time or casual position in Ontario's nurse profession.

Results: After the 70% Full-Time Commitment (2004-2009) was initiated, most full-time (89.7%), part-time (76.6%) and casual (62.5%) nurses stayed in their employment position. A slightly larger proportion of part-time nurses (13.6%) switched to full-time compared to casual nurses (8.6%). However, a similar proportion of young part-time (24.5%) and casual (23.3%) nurses switched to full-time. A smaller proportion of part-time (3.2%) and casual (7.1%) nurses left the profession.

Conclusion: Part-time and casual nurses have different employment switching patterns. The "70% Full-Time Commitment" was not an effective mechanism in retaining part-time and casual nurses. It might be more effective as a recruitment initiative for young nurses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Education, Nursing* / methods
  • Education, Nursing* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Nurses / supply & distribution*
  • Ontario
  • Personnel Selection / methods
  • Personnel Selection / organization & administration
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / statistics & numerical data
  • Personnel Turnover / statistics & numerical data