Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Janice M. Long
The nursing profession is facing a potentially devastating shortage of nurses by the year 2020. Contributing to the shortage is the retirement of experienced nurses who are over the age of 45, and an aging baby boomer population. The loss will place a considerable strain on the overloaded health systems. As a result, it is important to identify successful strategies for addressing the problem of experienced nurse retention. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to conduct a systematic review of literature to answer the question of what retention strategies have been used to prevent the loss of the experienced nurse who is approaching retirement age. The systematic review, guided by Benner's theory of novice to expert and Kanter's empowerment theory, included quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods studies published between 2007 and 2017. Studies published in the United States and Canada were 8studies selected for detailed review, were graded using the Joanna Briggs Institute grading criteria. The themes identified in this study included five key indicators: nurse autonomy and empowerment (75%), stress and burnout (62%), workplace engagement (68%), leadership commitment (56%), and training/career development action plans (56%). The key indicators may provide the basis for recommendations for managers and leaders in promoting experienced nurse retention in their work settings. Positive social change is possible when management takes into consideration the value of the key indicators above in experienced nurse retention efforts. By retaining experienced nurses, the nursing profession can promote positive patient outcomes and a mentoring plan for nurses approaching retirement age.