The research was done with colleagues Daniel Terry, a lecturer in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare at Federation University in Australia, and David Schmitz, professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota.
This research involved the use of the Nursing Community Apgar Questionnaire (NCAQ) developed by Prengaman and her colleagues in the Center for Health Policy which identifies strengths and challenges for rural communities related to their nursing recruitment and retention capabilities. The current research findings suggest that lifestyle, emphasis on patient safety and high quality care, availability of necessary materials and equipment and perception of quality were strengths of participating rural Australian health care facilities related to their ability to attract and retain a productive nursing workforce. These communities identified factors such as spousal satisfaction, access to larger communities and opportunities for social networking as challenges to their ability to recruit and retain nurses. Rural Australian health care facilities found the NCAQ useful in providing greater evidence-based decision making as they seek to address site specific or regional nursing recruitment and retention issues.
The full article can be found in the Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care.