The Retention of Recalled Navy Nurse Reservists Following Operation Iraqi Freedom


Name: Catherine Cox


Organization: Georgetown University

Performance Site: School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS), Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Year Published: 2004

Abstract Status: Final


In March 2003, almost 450 Navy Nurse Corps reservists were recalled to active duty to provide "continuum in care" (the Navy's new buzzword for "backfill") at several Navy Medical Treatment Facilities in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. When the applicant worked side-by-side with these reservists several months ago, she sensed that they were experiencing varying degrees of job dissatisfaction and wondered whether the reservists would stay in the Navy once they were demobilized. This is noteworthy because Navy Nurse Corps reservists are medical assets. In fact, active duty Navy nurses cannot deploy without the use their reservists. It is proposed that a negative experience with a recall to active duty might make a Navy Nurse Corps reservist resign his/her commission. The significance of studying factors that may influence job satisfaction, organizational commitment, intent to stay, and turnover in the Reserves of recalled Navy Nurse Corps reservists is that when duty calls ' especially in this hyper-alert age of bioterrorism and continued conflict in the Middle East and Korea (whereby, active duty members can deploy within hours of an adverse event) ' there will be a generous supply of reserve nurses to draw from. A thorough review of the literature revealed very few studies regarding the experience of reserve nurses recalled to active duty. Thus, a gap in the literature exists and demonstrates a need to explore this concept further. Additionally, this issue matches the TriService Nursing Research Program's Recruitment and Retention of the Workforce research priority area: "research designed to identify factors associated with recruitment and retention of nursing personnel in the military health care system." Thus, the purpose of this research study is to identify factors that contribute to the retention of mobilized Navy Nurse Corps reservists. The specific aims of this study are to determine the scope of the problem of Navy Reserve nurses' intent to stay in the Reserves after return from deployment; determine the turnover rate of Navy Reserve nurses after return from deployment; test a causal model of voluntary turnover with a sample of Navy Reserve nurses who have returned from deployment; and offer an opportunity for mobilized reservists to describe any additional factors influencing one's intent to stay or leave the Navy Reserves. Data analysis will include methods of logistic regression, factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and content analysis via SPSS, AMOS, and Nvivo software. The findings from this study will have implications for Navy Nurse Corps leaders and may offer insight into what attracts ' and detracts ' from nursing job satisfaction for mobilized nurse reservists.


Final report is available on NTRL: