The seniority swoop: Young nurse burnout, violence, and turnover intention in an 11-hospital sample

Daniel Shapiro, Cathy E. Duquette, Claire Zangerle, Amanda Pearl, Thomas Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We sought to understand whether nurses aged 20 to 29 years burnout and intend to turnover in higher proportions than more senior nurses, and if so, why. Guided by Maslow's hierarchy, we used brief inventories to assess hospital-based bedside nurses at 11 hospitals in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island (n = 3549/9520) prior to the pandemic. In a second study, we compared scheduling policies, bargaining, and Magnet status to see whether these variables predicted worsened burnout rates in young nurses. In a pattern that appears like a swooping line when graphed, nurses aged 20 to 29 years reported higher burnout and intention to leave than more senior nurses. They also reported being punched, bitten, spit on, kicked, or otherwise physically struck more often, worked more long shifts, worked more nights, and reported more dehydration and poorer sleep. Notably, age alone was not a strong predictor of turnover until burnout was added to the model, indicating that there is no inherent millennial trait resulting in higher turnover. Instead, preventing and addressing burnout is key to retention. When comparing hospital characteristics, only scheduling perks for senior nurses predicted the seniority swoop pattern. We offer 9 recommendations to reduce burnout and turnover in young nurses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-71
Number of pages12
JournalNursing Administration Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Leadership and Management


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