Full-time work for nurses: employers’ perspectives
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AIM: To examine an employer response to a government employment policy, the Nursing Graduate Guarantee (NGG), over a 2-year period (2008-2009 and 2009-2010). BACKGROUND: Healthcare organizations rely on a stable supply of nurses to meet their staffing needs. However, employment trends have indicated a propensity for part-time employment. The NGG was created to stimulate full-time employment of new graduate nurses in Ontario, Canada. METHODS: A mixed methods design was used, which included online surveys and focus groups. All healthcare providers (n = 1198) were surveyed in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. Each year, a sample of NGG employers participated in sector-specific focus groups. RESULTS: Approximately 20% of potential healthcare employers participated in the NGG. Reasons for non-participation included lack of awareness of the initiative and lack of full-time jobs. Barriers to offering full-time employment to new graduates included lack of full-time vacancies and budget constraints. CONCLUSIONS: Employers perceive flexible staffing practices as a way to contain personnel costs but often at the expense of a stable full-time nursing workforce. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: This research contributes to an understanding of employers' perspectives on full-time hiring and participation in a government employment policy.
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