Impact of Nursing Unit Turnover

The problem addressed by this research will look on the effect of nursing unit turnover on patient care, nurses and the general system outcomes. The common assumption is that nursing unit turnover affects patients, nurses and system outcomes but not much research gets done to define the relationship established by the three sectors (Brown, 2006). The lack of a proper understanding between nursing unit turnover and quality of care to patients has brought up disruptions on the system outcomes. Most researches conducted, however, show that there is a direct link between the three sectors affected by nursing unit turnover, without exploring the unsaid underlying mechanisms. The article will look into exploring the underlying mechanisms on a research done to patients and nurses workgroup. The chosen population is because of the factor that they are the most affected party on the issue of nursing unit turnover (Brown, 2006). It will show the strength and weakness observed during the research, the methods of data collection, data analysis and finally the drawings from the given results.

Research Purpose

The Study seeks to establish the underlying mechanisms brought forward in the relationship among nursing unit turnover, quality care issued to patients and the effect it has on the system outcomes (Cohen & Cesta, 2005). The sole objective is to draw conclusions on how nursing unit’s affects procedures and process among the main groups and the impact this has on the outcomes of patients. In order to accomplish the given objective, certain key research questions were in use. However, the main research question in use was the impact of nursing turnover on patient’s outcomes. The other questions that sprout up in the given field were,

  • What are the given turnovers rates for the selected nursing units in the hospital?
  • What is the outcome or effect on the unit nursing turnover on different work groups processes?
  • What was the impact of nursing unit turnover on the outcome of patients?
  • Who were the most affected party after the effect of nursing unit turnovers?

The questions formed a miscible atmosphere under which the research got conducted. The findings revolved around the answering of the questions all in correspondence with the effect of the impact of nursing turnover on patients and system processes. However, before underlying the mechanisms that come with the impact of nursing unit turnover, it is necessary to establish reasons as to why nursing unit turnovers are factors of concern.

General overview on the issue of nursing unit turnover

Nurse turnover need to be understood as a health human resource factor in regard to the context of health environments. This is because nurses’ shortages are increasing while the need for health workplaces and enhanced retention and recruitments strategies become more salient. Nursing turnover would be a contributing factor in the growth of an organization through strategies such as renewal of personnel, infusion of newly harbored ideas and finally introduction and utilization of newly formed practices. However, the nursing unit turnover becomes dysfunctional when it involves the unavoidable separation of the nursing personnel that an organization prefers to retain, and when it occurs at a high rate. This leads to reduced continuity of care, reduced productivity and increased risk in the system performance. Nursing turnover unit then becomes a vital challenge to the resource planners in the nursing field. Nursing shortages create tension to policy makers, managers and the registered nurses. Shortages and turnovers come in a situation where there is insufficient renewal of the placed workforce within an organization. It may also be factors in the working environment that render it unmanageable to maximize the output of the nurses  available. The other bits come due insufficient funds to hire the required nurses in the given faculty. Other factors that lead to nursing unit turnover include the inability of a small organization to retain their nurses and instead lose them to other prominent organizations who offer better packages to the nurses (Schroeder, 2007). The issue affects the core sector of healthcare, and with it comes the thundering impacts of nursing unit turnover. However, reports suggest that the issue of nursing turnover comes due to dissatisfaction of nurses. Whatever the reasons for the high increase of nursing unit turnover, the impact that come with it are high. They become a risk factor in promoting the superb name of primary healthcare.

Design used in acquiring information on impact of nursing unit turnover

The research took a standardized approach where it focused on small hospitals and leading hospitals. In order to answer the research questions, there was a necessity to establish how the impact felt got distributed equally to both sets of organizations. The general layout was to configure a plan that drew information from all types of hospitals. The research, however, got limited to a county sides hospitals and general information from internet resources. The design proved effective at first, but it had its own weaknesses and strengths.

Weaknesses and strengths of the design

The greatest strength of the design was that it covered every aspect of the organization which requires nurses. The findings from it would prove sufficient enough to as it covered both privatized and public organizations. The other significant strength of the design was that it was able to requisite large amounts of data into a sizable form with regards to varying organizations. This means that the amounts of data collected would be easily get transfigured into smaller portions, and the general data made easy to comprehend. However, the design also had its weaknesses. The greatest weakness is that it was not able to formulate the impact on system outcomes as it relied on patients and nurses. The impact felt by the organization systems was only by what one could make of the situation. The other disadvantage was the lack of managerial support in the design. It only focused on work related parties and not the authoritative correspondents.

Population selected

The population selected was on a small scope of the most affected parties by the impact of nursing unit turnover. These were the nurses working in organizations and the patients receiving services from the nurses. The two are the most affected and the persons whom the researched aimed to explore. In addition, the research also combined the perspectives and views of research analysts and experts on the field of nursing.

Method of data collection

The methods of data collection used varied in regard to the organizations given. The use of questionnaires proved efficient as the parties that did not want disclosure got a say on how they feel. Questioners also saw to it that patients who felt that nursing unit turnover affected them had a say in the question.  The second method was through qualitative use of data. In regards to qualitative method, the research employed a quantitative method of data collection. It also used direct interactions/facial contact with nurses and patients.

Data analysis

The information acquired from the selected parties had almost some similar bearings on the issue. Nursing unit turnover brought about a shift in the balance of hospital sectors. While most nurses gave their reasons as dissatisfaction and poor packages, the patients lamented on the issue that comes with their turnover. Most organizations had their reasons being hard economic times and their incapability to retain the needed nurses. This brought about a huge workload on the remaining nurses as they had to make up for the dent left by the nurses (Schroeder, 2007). The effect was that patients complained of poor services from nurses and the hospitals. It saw that patients opted to drift from hospitals and this affected the system outcomes.


The impact of nursing unit turnover is not only felt in hospitals, but also the society, as well (Tierney, 2010). It the society we live in that needs the most out of healthcare. Healthcare becomes insufficient when nursing turnover takes a different troll in the society. However, there are ways possible that could limit nurses’ unit turnover. These include government’s investment in the sector, with maximum utilities in the nursing sector. The second option is the diversification of the nursing industry, to include a wider scope on nursing. This sees to it that the nurses who pass through nursing schools could diversify to other sectors of the same principle. This would enable them to handle severe pressure that leads to nursing unit turnover. Overall, the impacts of nursing turnover get mostly associated negative effects.


Brown, M. (2006). Nursing management: Issues and ideas. Gaithersburg, Md: Aspen Publishers.

Cohen, E. L., & Cesta, T. G. (2005). Nursing case management: From essentials to advanced

practice. St. Louis: Mosby.

Schroeder, P. S. (2007). Approaches to nursing standards. Gaithersburg, Md: Aspen Publishers.

Tierney, S. J. (2010). Nursing Unit Staffing: An Innovative Model Incorporating Patient Acuity

and Patient Turnover: A dissertation.