The nurse shortage is an international issue. In USA more than one million new nurses will be needed by the year 2010; and most European countries are in need for large quantity of nurses, too. However, the nurse shortage happens not only in developed countries, but also in developing countries, such as in China. According to the World Health Report 2006 – WHO, the density of nurses per 1000 in China was only 1.06 (ranking 133 out of 191 countries) while the average was 4.06 in the world. In addition, the international East-West migration of nurses makes the situation worse in the less developed and developing countries. On the other hand, the premature departure increases the loss of nursing staff. What makes the nurses want to leave their profession? The EU-funded NEXT (nurses' early exit) -Study is investigating the reasons, circumstances and consequences surrounding premature departure from the nursing profession, which has been conducted in 11 European countries in recent years. The findings indicate that stressful psychosocial work characteristics and health reasons are the main causes of premature departure in nurses. Since 2006, a research team from China has collaborated with the European NEXT-Study group to examine the association among work stress, well-being, and intention to leave the profession in Chinese nurses. It is of interest to apply the well-established theories and knowledge from Europe into China in the research field of nursing science, occupational health psychology, medical sociology, and epidemiology. This proposed research is the NEXT follow up project to compare the data between European and Chinese nurses. The comparison would be helpful for the exploring the divergence and concordance of professional withdrawal behaviour in different populations, and would also lead to policy implications of intervention and would improve the development of nursing workforce both in Europe and China.
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