Factors influencing turnover and absence of nurses: a research review

Int J Nurs Stud. 1997 Dec;34(6):385-94. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7489(97)00031-x.


This review of the nursing literature aims to identify the factors with the greatest influence on turnover and absence of qualified nurses, possible common factors influencing both, and the relationship between absence and turnover. A hypothetical model grounded in the literature which depicts the expected relationships between these variables is presented for testing in an empirical study. The review identifies intent to stay in current employment as the variable with the greatest influence on turnover. Intent to stay is in turn most strongly associated with job satisfaction. Other variables are identified by single studies as having an influence on intent to stay, but are not supported by the results of other studies; exceptions are pay, opportunity for alternative employment and kinship responsibility, which are supported by the results of two studies. The relationship between job satisfaction and absence is unclear and requires further investigation. However, job satisfaction is identified as possibly influencing both absence and intent to stay and kinship responsibility is identified as a common antecedent of absence and intent to stay. Similarly, absence is identified as an antecedent to turnover. Thus, it is expected that absence would be positively related to turnover and negatively related to intent to stay. Understanding such relationships should allow identification of management strategies to reduce both turnover and absence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Malta
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Personnel Turnover*