On nurses moving from public to private hospitals in Hong Kong

Chung Yee Zenobia Chan, Ws Tam, Maggie Ky Lung, Wy Wong, Cw Chau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objectives: To explore the reasons why nurses leave public hospitals for the private sector. Background: While the global shortage of nurses is aggravating, this problem in public hospitals in Hong Kong is worsened by the trend of nurses moving to private hospitals. Thus, it is important to understand from the perspective of nurses the reasons affecting their decision to stay or leave a hospital. Design: Qualitative approach using narrative analysis. Methods: Data were collected using individual semistructured interviews. Twelve participants who had moved to a private hospital from a public hospital were encouraged to explain why they had made the move. Crossley's analytic method was adopted to analyse the collected data. Results: The nurses' stories were categorised into five sections: 'life in public hospitals', 'decision-making', 'life in the private hospitals', 'future plans' and 'values and beliefs'. Conclusions: The results are consistent with those of previous studies showing that job satisfaction and demographic factors play significant roles in the decision of nurses to switch to another hospital. This study revealed specific reasons why the nurses made the move, such as the fairness of the remuneration policy, significant people and stressors. Relevance to clinical practice: The results have relevance for hospital management with regard to strategies to consider when addressing the issues of staff retention and recruitment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1382-1390
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • Human resources
  • Interviews
  • Narrative inquiry
  • Nursing
  • Retention
  • Semistructured
  • Turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'On nurses moving from public to private hospitals in Hong Kong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this