Mind-Body Medicine


Saybrook Faculty Member Conducts Research Project on Work Motivation and Retention in Nursing

May D. Moller, DNP. and Devorah Curtis, PhD
May D. Moller, DNP. and Devorah Curtis, PhD

The health care profession is famous for burn-out - but also for the selfless dedication of its practitioners.  Why is it that some well-meaning practitioners to happily devote their lives to serving others, while equally well-meaning heal care providers succumb to the stress and hardships they face?

That's the question underlying research now being undertaken by Saybrook faculty member Dr. Devorah Curtis, along with colleague Dr. Mary Moller as they prepare a pilot study to identify work motivation and commitment factors that impact staff and faculty nurse retention.

Devorah Curtis, PhD, BCC, serves as the Director of both the Mentoring Program and the PhD Healthcare Systems Specialization, and is a member of the faculty in the Saybrook University School of Mind-Body Medicine (MBM).  Her primary research interest centers on Self-Determination Theory as it applies to differences in human motivation in a variety of personal and professional contexts.  Along with the core leadership team, Dr. Curtis strives to create an academic environment that maximizes students’ sense of purpose, competence, and growth potential throughout their graduate experience.  Currently, she and MBM colleague, Dr. Lisa Kelly are in the process of designing a faculty-led study to evaluate the effectiveness of mentoring in impacting student satisfaction, retention, and academic success.

Following a similar research agenda, Drs. Curtis and close friend and colleague, Mary Moller, DNP, ARNP, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, CPRP, FAAN, recently co-authored a poster titled Enhancing Work Motivation and Retention in Professional Nurses.  Dr. Moller is an Associate Professor and Specialty Director for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing. Dr. Moller is an advocate, leader, and mentor within the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA).  She is the recipient of the 2012 APNA Award for Distinguished Service, as well as the past-President of APNA.  Her vision is to establish a model of retention for faculty and staff nurses in both academic and practice environments based on maximizing the inherent skill sets of licensed, professional nurses.   Dr. Moller will present their poster during the 2013 APNA Annual Conference held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, October 9-12.  

Drs. Curtis and Moller integrated their shared interests in workplace motivation, mentoring and leadership in healthcare systems, and qualitative research by collaborating on this research project.  Together, they are preparing a pilot study grounded in Self-Determination Theory to identify work motivation and commitment factors that impact staff and faculty nurse retention.   Participants in the pilot study will be nurses and faculty from two large academic medical centers, one in the Northeast and one in the Midwest.  The chief nursing officers and directors of nursing research of the participating hospitals will be co-authors of the study. The next phase of the research will be to develop an intervention that will enable nurses to enhance motivation and sustain employment. 

Posted at 05:37 AM

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