Currently, there is a severe nursing shortage nationwide, even worldwide. The cause is multifaceted, including more demands being placed on the health care system, fewer people entering nursing school, a growing paucity of nursing educators, and an aging workforce, to name a few. There is general agreement that the shortage is dependent on a simplistic two-sided equation: adequate recruitment and effective retention. Adding to this problem is the near equal starting salary of a 2-year trained registered nurse compared to a nurse with 4 years of training. Adams' equity theory suggests that employees compare their inputs (in this case, education) and outputs (in this case, pay) with other employees. Unless the ratio of inputs to outputs is similar, tension often arises. This study examined 2-year trained nurses (ADNs) and 4-year trained nurses (BSNs) who share similar outputs but differing inputs to see if tension arises; in this case, a sense of pay inequity. The study showed that BSNs with more education but similar pay experienced a higher degree of pay inequity than did ADNs. The study then examined BSNs to see if this pay inequity was associated with different levels of affective, continuance, and normative commitment. This study suggested that perceived pay inequity was associated with decreased amounts of normative commitment; however, pay inequity was not associated with levels of affective or continuance commitment. It would appear from this study that pay inequity is related to decreased levels of loyalty. The concern, of course, is that decreased loyalty will result in lower retention of nurses-a feature that would adversely affect the 2-sided equation mentioned earlier. The study then makes recommendations to address this problem, thereby enhancing nurse retention and altering the current trend in the nursing shortage.
|Subjects||Management; Nursing; Labor relations; Health care management|
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