Should I stay or should I go? The influence of individual and organizational factors on pharmacists' future work plans

Caroline A. Gaither, Anagha Nadkarni, David A. Mott, Jon C. Schommer, William R. Doucette, David H. Kreling, Craig A. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the association between individual (demographic) and organizational (work environment and workload) factors and pharmacists' future work plans and explore reasons for either leaving or staying with current employers (culture/climate factors). Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: United States in 2004. Participants: 1,263 pharmacists. Intervention: Seven-page mail survey. Main Outcome Measures: Future work plans, time spent in practice activities, staffing levels, and actual and perceived workload and demographic variables. Results: Overall, 15% of respondents reported that they planned to leave their current employer within the year subsequent to this survey. More than 50% reported that their workload had significantly increased in the previous year. Multivariate analyses showed that nonwhites were 2.1 times more likely to be planning to leave their current employer, compared with whites, and unmarried respondents were 1.7 times more likely to leave than were married individuals. More negative perceptions regarding the impact of workload on various personal, work, and patient care outcomes predicted leaving. A main factor that prompted their inclinations was described by 72% of leavers (insufficient and/or unqualified staff) and 49% of stayers (flexible scheduling). The most common reasons for staying were good salary and relationships with coworkers, while the most common reasons for leaving were a desire for change and stress/workload issues. Conclusion: Future work plans of pharmacists are influenced by a variety of individual, organizational, and culture/climate factors. While employers have little latitude for influencing demographic characteristics of employees, many organizational and culture/climate factors (scheduling, opportunities for interpersonal interactions, salary/benefits, staffing, and workload) can be addressed with the intent of reducing pharmacist turnover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding : Supported by the Pharmacy Manpower Project, Inc.


  • Culture
  • Demographics
  • Job turnover
  • Surveys
  • Workload
  • Workplace


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