Document Type




Format of Original

11 p.

Publication Date



Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

Source Publication

Journal for Nurses in Staff Development

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1097/NND.0b013e31825515c4


Retaining newly graduated nurses is critical for organizations because of the significant cost of turnover. Since commitment to an organization is associated with decreased turnover intent, understanding factors that influence new graduates’ organizational commitment is important. In a sample of nurse residency program participants, predictors of organizational commitment over time were explored. Perceptions of the work environment, particularly job satisfaction and job stress, were found to be most influential.

Nurse residency programs provide extended opportunities to model professional role behaviors for new nurses, enhance knowledge development and clinical application, and promote successful integration to the work environment (Bratt, 2009). Despite these benefits, only 21% of new graduates reported having a formal internship or residency program and 6% had no formal orientation (Kovner et al., 2007).

In a national survey of registered nurses (RNs) conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (2010), it was revealed that almost 40% of new graduates plan to leave their current position within 3 years and almost 22% had already changed position or employer. For those new nurses who left their position, most of the reasons (73%) centered on issues related to the characteristics of the workplace, with stressful work environment being cited most frequently, followed by lack of good management and inadequate staffing.

Accreditation organizations including the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (2008) and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (2009a) have advocated for the development of transition to practice programs for newly graduated nurses. In addition, the recently released report of the Institute of Medicine (2010) put forth a key recommendation for organizations to provide nurse residency programs for newly licensed nurses. This report also advocates for the need to evaluate the outcomes of these programs, including their influence on patient outcomes and the retention and competency development of new nurses.


Accepted version. Journal for Nurses in Staff Development, Vol. 28, No. 3 (May/June 2012): 108-119. DOI. © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. 2012. Used with permission.

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