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The 2006 revision of medical fees triggered fierce competition in hiring nurses, which attracted widespread media attention. This competition seems to have subsided, but many hospitals are still struggling with the issue of hiring nurses and reducing turnover.
Many of the reasons why nurses quit their jobs are related to family issues such as marriage and child rearing, but factors related to working conditions, such as long hours, are play a role. Human resource management that justifies long working hours has made it difficult for nurses with time constraints due to marriage or child rearing to continue working full-time, forcing nurses to change the type of employment (i.e., become part-time) or choose to leave their job.
Solving this problem requires a shift away from uniform human resource management that is based on the traditional concept of fulltime personnel who do not mind a night shift or overtime to that which aims to achieve a work-life balance for each employee.
Work-life-balance-oriented human resource management adopts four measures. The first is diversification of working style which allows employees to continue working as they go through life events. The second is reexamination of the operational mechanisms and work management with the aim of accepting diversity among the employees and to have all employees play their role as a fulltime employee and work efficiently. The third is fair evaluation and compensation, where the employees’work during their designated hours is assessed fairly regardless of their working arrangement and they are properly paid for this. The fourth is support for career development, which secures opportunities for employees to learn and grow as full-time employees even when they face constraints on time available for work. These four measures enable hospitals to secure the employment of nurses in terms of both size and quality and to realize the medical and nursing services they seek to provide.