Thirty years of nursing turnover research: Looking back to move forward

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite the substantial amount of useful prior work on turnover among nurses, our understanding of the causal mechanisms explaining why nurses voluntarily leave their jobs is limited. The purpose of this article is to promote the development of stronger conceptual models of the causes of voluntary turnover among nurses. The author compares the nursing-specific literature to research on voluntary turnover from the general management field over the past 30 years and examines the evolution of key theories used in the nursing literature. Results of this review comparing nursing research with that in the broader field suggest that, over time, nursing research has not kept pace with conceptualizations from general management explaining why people either remain at or quit their jobs. The author argues that conceptual models of turnover among nurses can benefit significantly from drawing more effectively on particular models and concepts available in general management studies of turnover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-28
Number of pages26
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • conceptual models
  • nurse turnover
  • theory development
  • voluntary turnover theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Thirty years of nursing turnover research: Looking back to move forward'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this