Nurse Administrators’ Roles for Nurse Retention when Radioactive Disaster occurs: Findings from Nurses’ Evacuation Consideration and Evacuation after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

Main Article Content

Minoru Oto
Chieri Yamada

Abstract

Background: In 2011, a nuclear accident severely affected many hospitals in Fukushima. Many nurses faced a
dilemma of whether to evacuate voluntarily or keep working. This study examined the voluntary evacuation and
returning of nurses and then suggested how nurse administrators can prepare for such situations.
Methods: The study was conducted from July through September 2018. Eight hundred nurses who had been
working prior to the incident in three hospitals in Koriyama and Aizuwakamatsu participated. Although both
cities had higher-than-normal terrestrial radiation levels, Koriyama’s level was three times higher. An anonymous
questionnaire was administered, and individual interviews were conducted with participants. For statistical
analyses, SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 25.0, was used.
Results: Ultimately, 723 questionnaires were collected. The proportions of those who considered evacuating (33.1%)
and who evacuated (8.1%) were significantly higher in Koriyama. The characteristics of the group who considered
evacuation were being pregnant, living with an adult cohabitant, and/or living with small child (ren). The evacuated
nurses were all female and had similar characteristics as the group that considered evacuating; however, the age of
their children was not related. Four out of six interviewees contacted nurse administrators and/or colleagues and
overcame their feelings of guilt when their superiors and colleagues welcomed them back to work.
Conclusion: Nurse administrators should understand that, when a radioactive disaster occurs, individuals who
are more likely to consider evacuation have conflicts between their personal life and professional responsibilities.
Nursing departments should inform nurses of their policies in advance and respect individuals’ decision to leave,
supporting them when they return to work. Departments should also have a plan in place for managing with a
temporarily reduced workforce.

Article Details

How to Cite
Nurse Administrators’ Roles for Nurse Retention when Radioactive Disaster occurs: Findings from Nurses’ Evacuation Consideration and Evacuation after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. (2023). International Journal of Nursing Education, 15(3), 44-52. https://doi.org/10.37506/ijone.v15i3.19571
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Articles
Author Biographies

Minoru Oto

Graduate student, Graduate School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University. 1 Hikarigaoka,
Fukushima City, Fukushima, Japan, Advanced Clinical Research Center, Fukushima Global Medical
Science Center, Fukushima Medical University. 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima City, Fukushima, Japan

Chieri Yamada

Professor, PhD, Graduate School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University. 1 Hikarigaoka,
Fukushima City, Fukushima, Japan

How to Cite

Nurse Administrators’ Roles for Nurse Retention when Radioactive Disaster occurs: Findings from Nurses’ Evacuation Consideration and Evacuation after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. (2023). International Journal of Nursing Education, 15(3), 44-52. https://doi.org/10.37506/ijone.v15i3.19571