• Organizational incentives and rewards as motivators for registered nurses to obtain a baccalaureate or higher nursing degree

      Warren, Joan Insalaco; Mills, Mary Etta C. (2004)
      Purpose. A highly professional, well-educated nursing workforce is required to meet the ever-increasing complexities and demands of today's healthcare environment. However, over half of the current practicing registered nurses (56.6%) have less than a 4-year college degree. This study used work motivation theory to examine preferences of acute care Associate Degree (AD)/diploma RNs for organizational incentives and rewards that would motivate them to obtain a baccalaureate (BSN) or advanced nursing degree. The specific aim of this study was to identify the best combination of organizational incentives and rewards, and characteristics of nurses, to motivate AD/diploma nurses to obtain their advanced nursing degree. Additionally, structural equation modeling was used to test the motivational model. Design/methods. A cross sectional, descriptive mixed-mode survey design (paper and internet) was used to examine nurses' demographics, career satisfaction, professional commitment, work family conflict/family work conflict, barriers to receiving a BSN degree, perceptions of the BSN role, and preferences for organizational incentives and rewards that would motivate them to return to school. Participants were licensed nurses in the state of Maryland, less than 50 years of age, working 20 hours or greater per week at an acute care hospital, and not currently enrolled in a nursing degree program. Findings. Results using logistics regression analysis showed that nurses with lower career satisfaction, higher professional commitment, perception that the BSN role would lead to greater promotional and job opportunities and the offering of organizational incentives would serve as motivators for nurses to return to school. Although findings were significant, structural equation modeling analysis showed that the data did not fit the model well. Ranked preference for organizational incentives were: (1) pay to attend class (2) classes offered at their work site, (3) offering of tuition reimbursement, (4) ability to match work and class hours, (5) offering of a paid sabbatical, (6) offering of forgivable loans for service, and (7) availability of web based classes. Conclusion/implications. Findings suggested that only through potentially costly organizational incentive programs might hospitals motivate nurses to return to school. The lack of model fit suggests other unknown variables are involved with this decision-making process.