Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

A study of the drivers of commitment amongst nurses: The salience of training, development and career issues

McCabe, Thomas Joseph; Garavan, Thomas N.


Thomas Joseph McCabe

Thomas N. Garavan


Purpose – The aim of this study is to highlight factors influencing the commitment of nurses, and particularly focuses on the role of training, development and career issues. It provides the basis for a HRD framework, outlining policy choices in developing high commitment amongst nursing staff.Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research design was used, involving 40 semi‐structured interviews with nursing staff, from acute and community hospitals. The main themes and sub‐themes relating to the drivers of commitment and the role of training, development and career issues were identified and explored employing a grounded theory, constant comparative approach.Findings – The main “fault‐line” between nurses and the organization concerned resource management, and the introduction of general management concepts and practices. HRD practitioners should consider using the language and terms of reference familiar to nurses when devising HRD initiatives. Factors positively influencing the commitment of nursing staff included shared values, involving a sense of “vocational” commitment towards patient care and nursing. Strong leadership, particularly concerning the role of line management, was seen as important in influencing commitment. Teamwork and support, from both line management and colleagues, was also important. Training and development were highly regarded by nurses, and could be a useful way of recognizing and acknowledging their contribution to health care delivery. Career progression and greater involvement were viewed favourably by some nurses and unfavourably by others. The main issue concerned the possible substitution of nurse practitioner responsibilities with administrative and managerial responsibilities.Research limitations/implications – The findings are solely based on interviews with nursing staff from two NHS organizations. In exploring the various drivers of commitment and the role of training, development and career issues the study's focus was towards depth, as opposed to breath, of investigation.Practical implications – Valuable information for HRD practitioners and researchers on the drivers of commitment amongst nursing staff and the role played by training, development and career issues is provided.Originality/value – This paper is a useful study on exploring commitment amongst nursing staff and ways in which HRD practitioners and researchers can facilitate and develop commitment.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 9, 2008
Publication Date Aug 29, 2008
Deposit Date Aug 3, 2016
Journal Journal of European Industrial Training
Print ISSN 0309-0590
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 7
Pages 528-568
Keywords Nurses, Job satisfaction, Health services, Training, Career development
Public URL

Downloadable Citations