Recruitment barriers in rural community hospitals: A comparison of nursing and nonnursing factors

Terry D. Stratton, Jeri W. Dunkin, Elvira Szigeti, Kyle J. Muus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Despite encouraging signs suggesting that many rural hospitals are experiencing less severe staff shortages, the challenge of successfully recruiting nurses to rural practice settings continues to be a major obstacle. Based on a 1993 survey of 164 directors of nursing (DONs) practicing in rural community hospitals, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to cluster 21 DON-rated recruitment barriers into factors associated with nursing delivery, local community, and professional interaction. DONs, most notably those practicing in the smallest rural facilities (≤25 beds), reported community-related barriers such as spouse's employment as the most severe obstacles to successful registered nurse (RN) recruitment. However, upon examination conducted by using multiple regression analyses, only those factors related to nursing delivery and professional interaction were found to be statistically significant predictors of existing staff RN full-time equivalency vacancy rates. Given that barriers related to individual nursing staffs are likely to be far more amenable to change than those associated with rural environments, these findings offer encouragement to nursing administrators who are faced with the difficulties of attracting RNs to rural practice settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funded in part by the Offtce of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Grant No. CSR000005-05.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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