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The Effects of Nurse Turnover on Patient Care


Nursing is a profession that entails physical and emotional burnouts that, when not managed, influence the decision to leave the career. The field requires a constant balanced clinician-patient ratio, and the contrary can be fatal. When hospitals have insufficient personnel, it is the sick who suffer due to less attention they receive (Al Sabei et al., 2020). A reduced number of practitioners makes the available ones tired and not able to deliver services diligently. Health care facility staff turnover might also lead to individuals waiting for long hours before receiving the care since physicians are lesser than those they serve. Hospital administrators work harder to maintain employees because hiring new staff is costly in terms of finances and time. Nurses play a very vital role in the daily running of medical centers. They practically execute all activities related to the people that visit the hospital. They are the right-hand persons for the doctors. Studies have revealed that the sick are the most affected when there is doctors’ turnover because the value of services reduces (Antwi & Bowblis, 2018; Al Sabei et al., 2020). This paper reviews the literature on the effects of nurse turnover on patient care.

The Literature Review

In Muscat, Oman assessed the determinants of the purpose to resign, exhaustion, and supposed worth of care in the nursing profession. The investigation also examined the probable regulating function of work fulfillment on the link between job atmosphere and nurse leaving intent. The researchers, Al Sabei et al. (2020), employed a cross-sectional research approach and a sample of 207 physicians operating in government medical facilities in the study location. The scholars engaged an electronic data collection model to assess clinicians’ perceptions of career situation, fatigue, employment gratification, turnover intent, and care value. The findings indicated that involvement in institution affairs, the establishment of quality services, and enough staff were predictors of exhaustion among workers and perceived worth of healthcare.

Further, the study revealed that working in a satisfactory surrounding was related to reduced plan to quit, however only when job satisfaction increased. This assessment has illustrated that medics are prone to stress that dissatisfy them with their jobs; hence they give up and resign. However, this work has not shown how the above stated affects patient care which is a research gap this current work intends to cover.

A piece of research in California nursing homes examined the relationship between nurses quitting their career on mortality and the quality of home care nursing with a fixed-effect method variable approximation that utilizes the joblessness level as a tool for clinical resignation. The study found out that failure to evaluate the problem under examination results in minimization of the impact of practitioners’ resignation death rates and the excellence of service provision (Antwi & Bowblis, 2018). Specifically, the researchers further indicated that a 10%-point rise in clinicians’ absence leads to an institution getting 1.8 extra insufficiencies per yearly monitoring inspection which reflected a 16.5% surge (Antwi & Bowblis, 2018; 131). Additionally, hospital employee reduction leads to lesser care quality in various dimensions and might upsurge mortality. The above-stated finding supports the present topic because it had illustrated that nurse turnover affects patient care.

Researchers conducted a secondary data analysis to assess the impact of work pressure (interaction with high-risk client cases, high workload, and mental fatigue) and resources (better institutional and administrative support, independence, and function precision) on providers’ supposed eminence of service. The scholars collected data from 145 participants who are direct caregivers in an urban community mental health facility (Fukui et al., 2021). The surveyors engaged a structural equation approach to test for the study variables. The findings revealed that person-centered care was positively linked to high position transparency, administrational backup, and fewer daily activities. Additionally, low rates of discordant care were related to reduced psychological exhaustion, decreased case numbers, less contact with high-risk customer issues, and increased role clarity. The researchers have documented that reducing stress among workers and providing them with enough resources improves service delivery for mental health patients. This work has described the relationship between employees’ stress and capital availability on client maintenance. However, it has not shown turnover and consumer management; hence this current study intends to cover this study gap.

An assessment in the United States explored obstacles and contributors within the hospital nurse work structure for coping with fatigue. The researchers, Steege and Rainbow (2017), purposed to articulate evolving themes that bring insight to the connection among medics’ perceptions of weariness, nursing expertise philosophy, and repercussions for the nursing workforce. The study employed a qualitative exploratory approach and involved 22 clinicians functioning in the ICU and operation sections. The results showed that all participants experienced tiredness, yet they had different opinions on the necessity of dealing with fatigue related to other health structure challenges. The respondents reported that the ‘Supernurse’ incorporates; authorities used for good; a cloak of invulnerability, no sidekick, Kryptonite, and an alter ego. Those mentioned above were the main barrier to fatigue risk intervention programs and accomplishing safety culture in healthcare facilities (Steege and Rainbow, 2017). The survey also exhibited that nurse fatigue, attributes, and professional culture influence respondents’ satisfaction and retention. The outcome of this investigation indicates that practitioners have burnouts that might influence turnover, however, it does explain how it affects patient care which is a research gap to be covered by this current study.


This work reviewed the literature on the effects of nurse turnover on patient care. Staff turnover is a critical issue affecting all employment sectors, including nursing. This paper examined four articles concerning the study topic, and all the surveys revealed several outcomes. Al Sabei et al. (2020) illustrated that medics are prone to stress that dissatisfy them with their jobs; hence they give up and resign. Antwi and Bowblis (2018) showed that nurse turnover impacted patient care. Fukui et al. (2021) documented that reducing stress among workers and providing them with enough resources improves service delivery for mental health patients. Lastly, Steege and Rainbow (2017) indicated that practitioners have burnouts that might influence turnover.

One of the studies found that nurse turnover affected consumer care. Three of the reviews showed that practitioners encounter stressors that force that increase turnover. However, the three did explain how earlier-stated affect patient care, a research gap to be covered by this current study. It is important to understand the concept under the investigation because the hospital will be destabilized without enough nurses as they run almost all the patient errands. Information will guide in establishing methods to control factors fueling nurse turnover. The latter will eliminate adverse effects caused by reduced personnel. This study is critical in informing the health care stakeholders.


Al Sabei, S. D., Labrague, L. J., Miner Ross, A., Karkada, S., Albashayreh, A., Al Masroori, F., & Al Hashmi, N. (2020). Nursing work environment, turnover intention, job burnout, and quality of care: the moderating role of job satisfaction. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(1), 95-104.

Antwi, Y. A., & Bowblis, J. R. (2018). The impact of nurse turnover on quality of care and mortality in nursing homes: Evidence from the great recession. American Journal of Health Economics, 4(2), 131-163.

Fukui, S., Salyers, M. P., Morse, G., & Rollins, A. L. (2021). Factors that affect the quality of care among mental health providers: Focusing on job stress and resources. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 1-8.

Steege, L. M., & Rainbow, J. G. (2017). Fatigue in hospital nurses – ‘Supernurse’ culture is a barrier to addressing problems: A qualitative interview study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 67, 20-28.


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