Nurse retention and satisfaction in Ecuador: implications for nursing administration


Ecuador, nurse turnover, Nursing Work Index, retention, satisfaction


Aim This study explores the characteristics of professional nursing work environments that may affect nursing turnover and satisfaction within a large Ecuadorian hospital.

Background Nursing turnover is a challenge and may compromise patient care. Work dissatisfaction contributes to high turnover. Improving nurse satisfaction can contribute to better patient outcomes.

Method Eighty‐eight nurses participated in a quantitative and qualitative survey focusing on nursing satisfaction, turnover and selected organisation characteristics.

Results Issues that may affect nurse satisfaction and turnover were identified using questions from the Nursing Work Index: pay, insufficient number of nurses, undervaluing of nurses by public and the medical team, limited advancement opportunities, lack of autonomy and inflexibility in schedule. Other themes identified from qualitative data are reported.

Conclusions The top factor of decreased satisfaction was low pay as indicated by the Nursing Work Index. The qualitative results showed that low pay was the factor for nurse turnover. Additional factors related to nursing satisfaction can be addressed to improve nurse retention.

Implications for nursing management Along with increasing nursing pay, strategies to consider in decreasing turnover and increasing satisfaction included: providing opportunities for nursing advancement, promoting the value of nursing, creating clinical protocols and enhancing autonomy. This study adds to knowledge about nursing needs and satisfaction in South America.

Original Publication Citation

Palmer, S. (2014). Nurse retention in Ecuador: Implications for nursing administration. Journal of Nursing Management. 22(1), 96-99.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



Journal of Nursing Management





University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor