The Impact of Health Human Resources Policies in Primary Care Nursing: A Qualitative Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Sep 28;16(19):3653. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16193653.


Background: Organizational culture plays a key role regarding organizational outcomes and determining strategies, goals, and modes of operating which is associated with higher rates of worker morale, turnover and lower adverse events related to patient quality of care issues.

Aim: to describe the impact of the relocation of nurses from hospitals and other contexts to primary care from the perspective of primary care nurses.

Methods: A qualitative, focused ethnographic study. Site: Cantabro Health Service, Cantabria, Spain. Purposeful sampling methods were used to include nurses who were working in primary care during the study, and who had previous experience of at least one year in primary care. Observation (385 hours, 7 months) and in-depth interviews (17) were used to collect data. A thematic analysis was applied.

Results: Four themes emerged from the data: a) staff policies applied, b) beliefs regarding the newly incorporated nursing staff, c) reasons for relocation to primary care, and d) concern for the future.

Conclusions: In primary care, the relocation of non-qualified nursing professionals who are at the end of their career may have a negative impact on the organizational culture. It is necessary to research the most appropriate measures for guaranteeing a satisfactory work environment based on nurses who are qualified in primary health care settings.

Keywords: nurses; organization and administration; organizational culture; personnel selection; primary care nursing; qualitative research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Female
  • Health Workforce
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Organizational Policy*
  • Primary Care Nursing*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Spain