Perceptions of Australian remote area nurses about why they stay or leave: A qualitative study

Jacki Argent, Sue Lenthall, Sonia Hines, Chris Rissel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the perspectives of experienced Australian remote area nurses about remote nursing staff retention strategies. Background: There is low retention of remote area nurses in remote Australia. Retention of remote area nurses can be improved by a supportive environment including good management, professional development and supervision. Method: This is a qualitative study using in-depth interviews with seven registered nurses with a minimum of 3 years remote area nursing experience. Participants were interviewed by phone, with the interviews audio-recorded then transcribed and analysed thematically. Results: Participants had on average 12 years of experience as a remote area nurse. They valued teamwork, effective and flexible management practices and the ability to maintain their own cultural and social connectedness. A flexible service model with regular short breaks, filled by returning agency nurses to enable continuity of care and cultural connections, was seen as a viable approach. Conclusion: Flexible management practices that encourage short breaks for remote area nurses may increase retention. This would need to occur within a supportive management framework. Implications for Nursing Management: Management strategies that reduce isolation from personal and social networks can increase the retention of skilled remote area nurses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1251
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number5
Early online date21 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • management
  • remote area nurses
  • remote health
  • retention
  • workforce


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