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Public Health Reports: Factors That Influence the Recruitment and Retention of Nurses in Public Health Agencies

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Drs. Valerie A. Yeager, assistant professor in the department of global health management and policy and Janna M. Wisniewski, research assistant professor from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine examined factors that influence nurses’ decisions to work in public health agencies. They compared the responses of public health nurses working in local public health departments with the responses of non-nurses to a survey designed to explore factors that attracted workers to the field of public health, satisfaction with organizational environments, and factors that influence their decision to remain in the field.

Top five recruitment factors that mattered more for nurses than non-nurses were flexibility of work schedule, autonomy/employee empowerment, ability to innovate, specific duties and responsibilities, and identifying with the mission of the organization. Top five retention factors were: autonomy/employee empowerment, flexibility of work schedule, specific duties and responsibilities, opportunities for training/continuing education, and ability to innovate. Authors suggest that governmental public health agencies can design some of these factors into specific public health positions and highlight them when recruiting nurses.

View the full article.

The official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service since 1878, PHR serves as an informative and accessible resource for practitioners, professors, scholars, and students of public health. Published in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and SAGE Publications, the bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal provides important research and presents key discussions on the major issues confronting the public health community. For full access to current content, visit Public Health Reports to subscribe.