Career commitment in nursing

Diane L. Gardner, University of Iowa


There are different patterns and styles to careers in nursing. The concept of career commitment in nursing is explored, and the results of some research are discussed for their implications for nursing careers. A longitudinal, repeated-measures descriptive survey was used to measure career commitment and explore its relationship to turnover and work performance in 320 newly employed registered nurses at one hospital. Career commitment scores dropped significantly over the first year. Although career commitment does correlate with turnover, and there is a relationship with job performance, the direct association is weak. Career commitment is not a stable phenomenon in the first year in a new job. It appears to be susceptible to organizational factors, thus making it possible to provide positive benefits for both nurses and hospitals through enhanced career commitment.