Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Patricia L. Smith

Committee Members

Nancy B. Moody, Kathleen M. Rayman, Joellen B. Edwards


Tennessee's registered nurse vacancy rate is the highest in five years and the nursing shortage has dramatically impacted all portions of the state. The purpose of this study was to describe organizational attributes of exemplar Tennessee hospitals, as perceived by Chief Nurse Executives, which may influence the recruitment and retention of registered nurses.

In this study, 52 Tennessee hospitals were identified as exemplars of quality patient care, organizational policy, and administration. Their Chief Nurse Executive's were surveyed utilizing a Hospital Characteristics Questionnaire and the Organizational Support Subscale from the Nursing Workforce Index Revised (NWI-R). The hospital characteristics and organizational attributes were then compared with those found in American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) magnet hospitals, which have a reputation for retaining and recruiting nurses.

The study demonstrated that the exemplar Tennessee hospitals were not comparable with the ANCC magnet hospitals and the findings suggest that Tennessee hospitals must develop strategies related to staffing, professional autonomy, respect for nursing, and positive work environments in order to recruit and retain nurses to preserve a nursing workforce now, and in the future.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Nursing Commons