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Richard S. Schuttler


The United States has a nursing shortage that is projected to grow to over 500,000 by the year 2030. This is an issue for leaders because the nursing shortage affects health care organizations sustainability. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive phenomenological study was to identify and report the lived experiences of new graduate nurses (NGNs) in oncology and whether unit of first choice (UFC) effected their intention to remain after 2 years of practice. The research question considered the lived experiences of NGNs in oncology units who either had oncology as their UFC or were placed on an oncology unit even though oncology was not their UFC during their first 2 years. The framework theories that provided a lens were Herzberg'€™s motivational hygiene, Burns'€™ transformational leadership theory and von Bertalanffy'€™s general systems theory. Data were collected from semistructured interviews attaining data saturation with 10 NGNs in Central Florida. Data analysis involved using hand-coding and NVivo 12 Plus. The findings revealed the negative impacts of the nursing shortage, cycle of nurse turnover in oncology, positive and negative experiences in oncology, and reducing turnover and increasing NGN retention in oncology. Application of the findings of this study by nursing leaders may improve new graduate nurse hiring practices and retention, as leaders consider the result that unit of first choice has on NGN retention. Retaining NGNs could result in a positive social impact by lowering hospital employment costs, improving community stability, making health care more affordable to the community, and reducing medical errors.

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