Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Early professional careers in nursing in Switzerland : results from a longitudinal study after career start
Authors: Schaffert, René
Bänziger, Andreas
et. al: No
Conference details: 2nd International CNHW Conference – «Effective measures to keep our treasures – How to care for health professionals», online, 29-30 April 2021
Issue Date: 29-Apr-2021
Language: English
Subjects: Pflege; Fachkräftemangel; Berufslaufbahnen
Subject (DDC): 610.73: Nursing
Abstract: Research question: The aim of this longitudinal study in Switzerland was to investigate professional careers and factors affecting retention of nurses in the first years after graduation. This paper focuses on professional careers as well as on differences between language regions and professional degrees and evaluates if there are differences in job satisfaction between different career positions. Methods: A cohort of nurses, graduating in 2011/2012 in Switzerland, took part in an online survey over three waves (T1: graduation; follow-ups: 1 and 6 years after graduation). Out of 1637 graduates, 69% participated in the first survey, 38% in the second, and 37% in the third. Analyses focus on descriptive analyses and group differences are determined using nonparametric statistics such as Kruskal-Walis or Mann-Whitney U tests. Results: Six years after graduation 90% of the participants were still working as nurses, 5% had left the profession and 5% were either in full time studies (1%) or not working (e.g. family break). Participants had 2.62 jobs on average and half of the employments were shorter than two years. Since entering the profession, a majority of 72% attended continuing education and the proportion of those working part-time (80% or less) rose from 5% to 40%. At their first jobs, already 22% of the participants occupied positions with extended responsibilities. This rate rose to 60% six years after graduation. Those starting in positions with extended responsibilities more often kept their initial employment (61%) compared to those who started in a position without extended responsibilities (13%). In the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, graduates were more often keeping their initial employment compared to other regions; employment interruptions were more often caused by family breaks. In the French-speaking part, nurses were less satisfied with their jobs and were more susceptible to periods of unemployment. In the German speaking part, nurses started their careers more often in positions with extended responsibilities, showed more movement to higher positions and were, six years after graduation, more often occupying positions with extended responsibilities. Those in positions with extended responsibilities showed higher job satisfaction than those without. This was not the case for nurses with a BSc degree in the German-speaking part. Discussion: Early professional careers are characterized by frequent changes of jobs and positions and a high investment in continuing education. Career paths move from bedside nursing to jobs with extended responsibilities or expert roles. Having a job with extend responsibilities not only goes along with a higher job retention rate but also with higher job satisfaction. Differences between language regions are diverse and indicate differences in the structural background. Conclusion: Offering nurses career opportunities and jobs with extended responsibilities might play an important role in keeping them in the profession.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Health Sciences
Organisational Unit: Institute of Public Health (IPH)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Berufskarrieren Pflege: Längsschnittstudie nach dem Berufseinstieg
Appears in collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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