Emergency nursing turnover rates are high in the United States. Little is known about the role of personality characteristics in the turnover decisions of emergency nurses. Intent to leave is often measured to determine the likelihood of turnover versus retention of employees. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship among personality characteristics, employment tenure, and intent to leave among emergency nurses.
Using a descriptive, correlational design, data were collected using the HEXACO-PI-R personality inventory and demographic data. Participants included 406 current and former emergency nurses with employment tenure ranging from < 1 year to > 10 years.
Analysis indicated a significant relationship between years of tenure and the traits of Honesty/Humility (P = 0.003), Emotionality (P = 0.001), Agreeableness (P = 0.02), and Openness (P = 0.05). When factoring in intent to leave, nurses with tenure longer than 10 years have significantly higher levels of Honesty/Humility (P = 0.001) and a significantly lower level of Emotionality (P = 0.011) than nurses with tenure of less than 2 years and intent to leave within 1 year. Finally, all 406 emergency nurses in this dataset had similarity among the 6 measured personality dimensions.
This study found similarities in personality characteristics for all 406 study participants, with significant differences related to career tenure for some dimensions. This type of knowledge might provide administrators with details of important characteristics to foster which may have a positive impact on retention.
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Nancy Winters is Associate Professor, State University of New York at Delhi, Delhi, NY.
Published online: September 28, 2018
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