Publication Details

Smith, S., Sim, J. & Halcomb, E. (2019). Nurses' Experiences of Working in Rural Hospitals: An integrative review. Journal of Nursing Management, 27 (3), 482-490.


Aim: To critically analyse the international literature describing the experiences of nurses working in rural hospitals.Background: Nursing shortages in rural areas is an ongoing issue. Given the significant role nurses play in the delivery of rural health care, a sufficient workforce is essential. However, maintaining this workforce is challenging. Understanding the experiences of nurses working in rural hospitals is essential to inform strategies around job satisfaction and staff retention.Evaluation: An integrative review was conducted. Six primary sources were included related to the experiences of nurses working in rural hospitals.Results: Four themes emerged, namely: (a) Professional Development; (b) Workplace stressors; (c) Teamwork; and (d) Community.Conclusion: There is a need for further research exploring the experiences of nurses working in rural hospitals and its impact on job satisfaction, turnover intention and patient safety.Implications for Nursing Management: This review highlights some key issues impacting nurses' working in rural hospitals. This understanding can be used by nurse managers to inform strategies for recruitment and retention of nurses in these areas.



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