Background: To understand how nurses perceive the intention to stay in the profession (ITSP) is a priority concern to combat the nursing shortage crisis. In Thailand, few studies have investigated and clarified ITSP in community hospitals (CHs). The purpose of this study is to examine and identify the predictors of ITSP at CHs functioning under the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 47 CHs in 8 different provinces, utilizing multi-stage sampling. A total of 955 participants completed a set of e-questionnaires to measure personal factors, managerial characteristics (MCs), work characteristics (WCs), and the relationship of different factors with ITSP. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation (r), and multiple regression analysis were undertaken.

Results: The study showed a moderate level of ITSP (M = 3.38, SD = 0.70). The nurses’ characteristics did not have a statistically significant association with ITSP. Overall, the MCs were positively correlated to ITSP (r = 0.379, p < 0.05). Similarly, overall WCs were positively associated with ITSP (r = 0.370, p < 0.05). Some domains of MCs and WCs were significant influences upon ITSP. Human capital, work happiness, autonomy, skill variety, and work-life balance together accounted for 21.4% of the variance in ITSP.

Conclusion: ITSP was affected by human capital, work happiness, autonomy, skilled variety, and work-life balance. Notably, nursing administrators and policymakers should develop strategies to support nurses in CHs that strengthen their career prospects to persuade them to stay in the profession longer.

Keywords: Intention to stay in profession, community hospital, Thailand


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