Many western countries are experiencing a substantial shortage of home-care nurses due to the increasing numbers of care-dependent people living at home. In-depth knowledge is needed about what home-care nurses find attractive about their work in order to make recommendations for the recruitment and retention of home-care nursing staff. The aims of this explorative, qualitative study were to gain in-depth knowledge about which aspects home-care nurses find attractive about their work and to explore whether these aspects vary for home-care nurses with different levels of education. Discussions were conducted with six online focus groups in 2016 with a total of 38 Dutch home-care nurses. The transcripts were analysed using the principles of thematic analysis. The findings showed that home-care nurses find it attractive that they are a “linchpin”, in the sense of being the leading professional and with the patient as the centre of care. Home-care nurses also find having autonomy attractive: autonomy over decision-making about care, freedom in work scheduling and working in a self-directed team. Variety in patient situations and activities also makes their work attractive. Home-care nurses with a bachelor's degree did not differ much in what they found attractive aspects from those with an associate degree (a nursing qualification after completing senior secondary vocational education). It is concluded that autonomy, variety and being a “linchpin” are the attractive aspects of working in home care. To help recruit and retain home-care nursing staff, these attractive aspects should be emphasised in nursing education and practice, in recruitment programmes and in publicity material.
de Groot, K., Maurits, E. E. M., & Francke, A. L. (2018). Attractiveness of working in home care: An online focus group study among nurses. Health and Social Care in the Community, 26(1), e94-e101. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12481