Job satisfaction trumps pay in LTC nurse retention

Sometimes, it's not all about the money. Instead, job satisfaction and emotional well-being are better indicators of retention in long-term care facilities, particularly with nursing assistants, according to new research from Rice University, University of Pittsburgh, and Baylor College of Medicine, published in The Gerontologist.

Researchers looked at turnover rates of 620 certified nursing assistants to give administrators an idea of work-related factors that contribute to turnover. Previous studies have over-exaggerated the turnover rates, said study coauthor Vikas Mittal, professor of marketing in Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business in press release, because previous research included data from both full- and part-time workers.

Instead, they found that most nursing assistants (85 percent) did stay at their position. The study identified "stayers" as those who remained at the same job with the same organization for a year after they were surveyed, classified "switchers" as those who continued to work at least 30 hours at a different organization, and "leavers" as those who no longer worked in direct-care or left the workforce all together.


Percentage of total







Switchers cited fewer benefits as a reason for their moves. Leavers cited lower job satisfaction, emotional well-being, and health issues as reasons for leaving.

As baby boomers age with presumably failing health and increased care needs, long-term care will play a greater role in the future.

For more:
- read the study
- check out the press release