Supporting Rural nurses: Skills and Knowledge to Practice in Ontario, Canada

Abstract

Background: Nursing in rural settings requires the skill set of a multi-specialist who is adaptable to change and different ways of working. Maintaining skills needed for emergency management of complex health issues is difficult, and retention is affected by the paucity of further education opportunities and mentors.                                                                                             

Purpose: In collaboration with five small community hospitals in southern Ontario that experience challenges in recruiting and retaining sufficient nursing staff, this project used critical ethnography to ascertain appropriate retention strategies.

Methods: Data collection included environmental scans, interviews with 45 rural nurses, and completion of 156 surveys from nurses on rural nursing careers. During the project, staff-identified, educational strategies were implemented in 3 of the 5 community hospitals.

Findings: Seven themes emerged from the data. Overall, rural nurses identified that they were content to stay, as long as there was sufficient work.                                                  

Conclusion: Retention interventions that are locally constructed with attention to community factors have the greatest likelihood of succeeding. 

DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/ 10.14574/ojrnhc.v15i1.337  

 

Keywords:   rural nursing, nurse retention, critical ethnography, retention strategies

https://doi.org/10.14574/ojrnhc.v15i1.337
PDF

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).