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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-84

Exploring acute care workplace experiences of Saudi female nurses: Creating career identity

1 Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, College of Nursing, King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 School of Nursing-Sydney, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Sandra West
Associate professor, School of Nursing-Sydney, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sccj.sccj_11_19

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Background: Saudi registered nurses (RNs) currently comprise 30% of Saudi Arabia's nursing workforce, and turnover/attrition rates remain problematic. No studies exploring Saudi RNs' experiences of acute care work and/or the factors that influence their decision to continue working were located. Purpose: To construct an insightful understanding of the acute care workplace experiences of female Saudi RNs and factors affecting retention. Methods: Snowball sampling was used to recruit 26 female acute care Saudi RNs who were interviewed about their workplace experiences. A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to code and categorize data to construct a shared understanding reflective of the experiences of participants and the researcher as both constructing the meanings given. Results: Shared understandings of patients' culture, religion, and language were assisting Saudi RNs to feel competent in making a unique contribution to patient care. Although participants reported negative impacts from some workplace policies, they were able to create their own identity and to find their own place by creating a career identity as Saudi-Muslim nurses. Successfully creating this unique nursing identity enhanced their motivation, work commitment, and competence; however, difficulties were encountered in accommodating work conditions and working as a minority group within a workplace largely staffed by foreign nurses. Conclusion: Saudi nurses' acute care workplace experiences were found to be complex and challenging and significantly affected by the lack of supportive policies designed to help them to keep working clinically. Implications for Nursing Policy: Workplace retention of Saudi RNs is an organizational issue that needs wide discussion to enable continuing clinical work of Saudi female nurses.

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