Escalating costs and the documented nursing shortage threaten the sufficient availability of high quality nursing service. The effective recruitment and retention of retired and soon-to-retire Baby Boomer-aged nurses as skilled and experienced volunteers may help organizations to meet patient needs while also providing valuable benefits to volunteers. An enhanced understanding of the characteristics possessed by those candidates most likely to desire, accept, and retain volunteer nursing positions may help leadership to develop tools to predict future professional nurse volunteer candidates' sustainability. The theory of role identity informs the approach toward the identification of those nurses whose personal bond to their profession drives them to seek nurse role volunteer opportunities in order to continue in this role following retirement. Utilizing a quantitative research approach, this dissertation tested nurse role identity along with professional and demographic characteristics for a relationship to an individual's intention to offer volunteer nursing services. In an online survey, a randomly selected sample of Baby Boomer-aged Michigan registered nurses (N = 192) confidentially provided routine demographic information, professional descriptors, details regarding past volunteer practices, and interest in future volunteer service; in addition, two well-documented tools known to measure role identity and perceived expectations of others were slightly customized and utilized. Using binary logistic regression, it was demonstrated that nurse role identity can predict intention to offer nurse volunteer service: for every unit increase in nurse role identity, the odds that a participant intended to volunteer as a nurse increased by 2.12 times. When controlling for a history of nurse volunteerism and general volunteer service in the past 12 months, a 1.74 times increase in the intention was found. Pursuant to these findings, it is recommended that nonprofit agencies identify positions of high caliber which can be filled by competent volunteers, recruiting from expanded sources such as older, professionally experienced adults. Following aggressive promotion of position availability, interested candidates should be intensively interviewed, including the assessment of their profession-specific role identity and history of volunteerism.
|Adviser||Reid A. Zimmerman|
|Subjects||Management; Nursing; Public health; Health care management|
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