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Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Words and actions: a study in nurse wastage.
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Words and actions: a study in nurse wastage.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1992
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Number of pages13
Original languageEnglish


This paper examines whether a group of nurses' stated intentions to leave were subsequently transformed into actual leaving actions. We argue that establishing the truth of relationships between words and actions is of fundamental importance in social science research. Nurses broadly did what they said they would do. Hence, definite intentions to leave were generally acted upon while less strong leaving intentions were not acted upon to any practically significant degree. We further investigate the link between the nurses' words and actions by reporting on a small interview study where nurses were asked why they did or did not do as they stated. The importance of these findings in terms of health authorities planning their labour force is discussed.