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Expectations and Experiences: A qualitative study on expectations role on turnover intentions as nursing students transitions into the role of a practicing nurse
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The world, including Sweden, is suffering from a shortage of nurses. The nurse shortage

is caused by many factors, including an aging population causing a rise in demand,

considerably fewer applicants for high school nursing programs, and a large wave of

retirement as the baby boomers are leaving the work force. However, research has found

that no single thing is more responsible for the nurse shortage than the inability to keep

able nurses in the nurse force as they voluntarily terminate their employment. Research

has also found that young nurses and newly graduated nurses are more likely to terminate

their employment than nurses who have been working for a long time. One of the

explanations for this problem is the special problems nurses face during the transition

from student to practicing nurses.

This thesis aims to help the health care institutions of Sweden, and the world, by further

explaining the problems nurses face in the transition from nursing student to practicing

nurse. This is done by examining the expectations nurses have on the profession before

they start studying, and before they graduate, and examine how the nurses perceive that

their expectations have been confirmed or disconfirmed. Further we examine how the

nurses perceive that their confirmed or disconfirmed expectations affect their job

satisfaction and in extension, their will to terminate their employment and leave the

profession. In order to examine the subject, we conducted a qualitative study. Semistructured

interviews were held with eight nurses in order to assess how their expectations

had affected their current view on their job and what disappointments and positive

surprises would infer. The data we gathered from the interviews were analyzed


The main themes we derived from the data were: Emotions – Driver in Early

Expectations, Expectations and Experiences in the Transition Period, Confirmation of

Early Expectations, Expectations Role in Job Satisfaction, and Expectations as a Factor

in Turnover Intentions. We could conclude that there were certain areas where nurses’

positive expectations were confirmed, e.g. meaningfulness of the job. There were also

areas where nurses experienced a reality worse than what they expected, such as stress,

work environment, responsibility, feedback, and emotional challenges. From subthemes

of these general themes we crafted a conceptual model to illustrate how both early and

later expectations affect the job satisfaction, opinions on the profession, and turnover

intentions of the nurses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 68 p.
Keyword [en]
Nurses, Expectations, Job Satisfaction, Turnover Intentions, Transitions
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123225OAI: diva2:945138
Educational program
International Business Program
Available from: 2016-07-01 Created: 2016-06-28 Last updated: 2016-07-01Bibliographically approved

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