Saudi Nurses Retention and Workplace Experiences

The first factor that affects the retention of Saudi nurses is the organization of shifts. It is difficult to schedule shifts and vacations at the workplace because scheduling is done by the nursing administration instead of the head nurse and the affected nurse. The nursing administration is dominated by expatriates, who are considered discriminatory. Consequently, Saudi nurses feel abused and oppressed. Specific needs of nurses such as family dynamics are ignored when scheduling night shifts. The lack of a day off between night and day shifts makes it difficult for nurses to adapt their biological clocks to the changes in rotation.

The second factor is the lack of attractive salaries and allowances. The compensation scheme for nurses in Saudi was not attractive enough. The nurses were unable to meet their material needs from their salaries, which was attributed to a reduction in the basic monthly salary by the ministry of health in Saudi Arabia. Important allowances that were missing include bonuses for night and weekend shifts as well as hazard recognition for dealing with infectious patients.

The third factor is the allotment of leave and acknowledgment of religious holidays. The systems were unfair when it came to allowing nurses to go on vacation. Consequently, nurses were expected to plan vacations a year ahead of time, which posed problems due to uncertainties about personal circumstances at the time. Muslim holidays were also disregarded when allocating vacations.

The fourth factor was inadequate to support for working mothers. For example, the maternity leave was very short, which forced them to leave their babies with their mothers or nannies. Additionally, they were required to resume physically strenuous work quickly, which increased fatigue. Hospitals in Saudi Arabia do not have childcare centers. Other factors that contribute to the retention of Saudi nurses include the lack of promotions to senior positions in a field that is predominated by foreign nationals. Negative attitudes and perceptions of patients and medical staff about Saudi nurses are discouraging. There is a preference for foreign nurses who are assumed to be more qualified than Saudi nurses.

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