What influences nurses' career choices?

Leaders who support, listen to, and value their staff are extremely important for nurses' ambitions regarding further career choices in the health and care sector.

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Portrett av Guro Hognestad Haaland
Guro Hognestad Haaland has a master's degree in Human Resource Management from the Copenhagen Business School. She is employed as an advisor in personnel and organizational development at Stavanger University Hospital.

Recent research from the University of Stavanger conducted by Guro Hognestad Haaland shows this.

In her doctoral thesis, she addresses practical challenges in the health and care services. She examines nurses' ambitions to become leaders, their intention to quit, and how both contextual and individual factors affect nurses' career choices over time.

Men and younger nurses have higher leadership aspirations

Haaland's results show that job demands and resources influence nurses' career choices. Men and younger nurses have higher aspirations to become leaders compared to women and older nurses. Social support from immediate supervisors and perceived institutional stress positively affect nurses' ambitions to become leaders, while increased workload reduces these ambitions.

– Leaders in the health and care sector should motivate, support, and promote nurses into leadership roles. Training and development opportunities, such as leadership development programs and mentoring schemes, should be offered. An evaluation of the leadership span and support in the sector is necessary to ensure good working conditions, says Haaland.

Fewer administrative tasks

"She recommends minimizing administrative tasks to give nurses more time for patient care. Leaders and nurses should discuss development and career opportunities together. The thesis underscores the need for support for nurses in facing challenging situations, especially considering demographic development and sustainability in health services. Task sharing among professional groups should also be considered in the sector.

Guro Hognestad Haaland defends her doctoral thesis Determinants of registered nurses’ career choices : Studies from Norwegian health care organizations when she presents her dissertation for the Ph.D. degree at the University of Stavanger Business School on January 18, 2024.

Written by: Benedicte Pentz