The Impact of Hospital Downsizing on Registered Nurses Displaced from Full -Time Employment
Gustafson, Diana L.
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This research identified and explored the various responses of ten women Registered Nurses displaced from full-time employment as staff nurses in general hospitals in southern Ontario. These nurses were among the hundreds in Ontario who were displaced between October 1991 and October 1995 as a result of organizational downsizing and other health care reform initiatives. The purpose of this research was to document the responses of nurses to job displacement, and how that experience impacted on a nurse's professional identity and her understanding of the nature and utilization of nursing labour. This study incorporated techniques consistent with the principles of naturalistic inquiry and the narrative tradition. A purposive sample was drawn from the Health Sector Training and Adjustment Program database. Data collection and analysis was a three-step process wherein the data collection in each step was informed by the data analysis in the preceding step. The main technique used for qualitative data collection was semistructured, individual and group interviews. Emerging from the data was a rich and textured story of how job displacement disrupted the meaningful connections nurses had with their work. In making meaning of this change, displaced nurses journeyed along a three-step path toward labour adjustment. Structural analysis was the interpretive lens used to view the historical, sociopolitical and ideological forces which constrained the choices reasonably available to displaced nurses while Kelly's personal construct theory was the lens used to view the process of making choices and reconstruing their professional identity.