A qualitative exploration of nurses leaving nursing practice in China

Junhong Zhu, Sheila Rodgers, Kath M Melia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper reports a theoretical understanding of nurses leaving nursing practice
by exploring the processes of decision-making by registered nurses in China
on exiting clinical care.

The loss of nurses through their voluntarily leaving nursing practice has not
attracted much attention in China. There is a lack of an effective way to understand and communicate nursing workforce mobility in China and worldwide.

This qualitative study draws on the constant comparative method following a
grounded theory approach.

In-depth interviews with 19 nurses who had left nursing practice were theoretically sampled from one provincial capital city in China during August 2009– March 2010.

The core category ‘Mismatching Expectations: Individual vs. Organizational’
emerged from leavers’ accounts of their leaving. By illuminating the interrelationship between the core category and the main category ‘Individual Perception of Power,’ four nursing behaviour patterns were identified: (1) Voluntary leaving; (2) Passive staying; (3) Adaptive staying and (4) Active staying.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages10
JournalNursing Open
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • China
  • expectations
  • nursing turnover
  • nursing workforce management
  • power
  • shortage
  • voluntary leaving


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