Managing human resources is crucial to the efficient and effective delivery of quality health care. However, turnover of nurses constitutes a major factor in the shortages of staff, which are being experienced by the nursing profession in the Republic of South Africa. Shortages of trained nurses with experience, particularly in public sector hospitals, have adverse effects on the provision of efficient and effective quality health care to the consumers of this service. The aim of the study was to provide an understanding of and insight into those inherent problems in the health sector that propel nurses to leave public sector institutions. Turnover of nurses has serious ramifications for employers, patients, and the nursing profession itself. Effective management of employee turnover is of critical importance to health care providers, employees, and patients. Better control of turnover can improve the quality of patient care, reduce labour costs, and improve employee morale.