Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Kimora Kachelmyer

Reader (Advisor 2)

Diane Hinds


The nursing shortage is an acute problem that demands immediate attention. The time to address the issues of recruitment and retention of nurses is now; there will not be time to react if the situation continues to deteriorate.

Less than four percent of freshmen woman are choosing nursing as a career. Compare that figure to the twenty-six percent of young woman choosing business, and six percent choosing medicine. The average age of a registered nurse working in a hospital setting is forty. The ability to fill vacant nurse positions is difficult, because nurses are already working, many at more than one job. The goal of this paper is to research how recruitment of nursing staff is done in the Twin Cities, and to look at retention methods. The author believes that we must create new paradigms of how we work together in order to keep the nursing profession alive.

A survey was given at Fairview Southdale Hospital to one hundred and seventy- five nurses. The intent of the survey was to understand the reasons that nurses came to, and continue to work at Fairview Southdale. It is believed that spending more time, effort and money in retention of nurses may make the most sense.

The recruitment policies and procedures at Fairview Southdale, Unity, Mercy and Abbott Northwestern Hospitals were researched. Abbott Northwestern is currently offering on-site bachelor's degree completion courses. The availability of such a program reinforces to their staff that they want to invest in them personally and professionally, and to retain them as their employees. There are several other ways to recruit prospective employees, and attract quality candidates.

A study done last year by the department of health estimates that $3.2 billion was spent on recruiting nurses. Hospitals may be better equipped to face the nursing shortage by investing their time and money into retention methods.

Managers' leadership style may be a determining factor on nurses' intent to stay in a hospital setting. Developing managers from within the organization, that seek and value contributions from the staff, and promote a climate of shared decision making, may increase the retention of nurses. The time to address the issue is now, waiting for five or ten years will be too late.


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