Background: Nurse managers act under constant pressure to develop strategies in response to professional challenges within a changing and restructured health care system. When such environmental stress is present, they need access to sufficient psychosocial recourse.
Aim: The study aimed to investigate whether nurse managers' professional networks, psychosocial work conditions, job support, social network and support were associated with self-rated health, sick-leave and salary.
Methods: From a total of 268 Swedish nurse managers, active in management positions, 205 (77%) agreed to participate in the study by answering a self-report questionnaire. Cronbach's alpha was used to calculate internal consistency. Odds ratios were used to estimate the bivariate association between self-rated health and psychosocial resources.
Results: Nurse managers exposed to high job demands had significantly increased odds for low self-rated health. It was also found that low level of support from professional network, job support, social network and social support outside work displayed increased odds for low self-rated health, independently of age, gender and education. There were additive (but no synergistic) effects found for job demand in combination with professional networks, job support and emotional support and in relation to self-rated health.
Conclusion: The study showed that nurse managers exposed to high job demands had elevated odds for low self-rated health, regardless of level of psychosocial resources within or outside work. Two-thirds of the nurse managers who were affiliated to professional networks did not consider this a supporting factor in their management work. Those with low job support had increased odds for sick-leave compared with those with high support. No significant associations were found between psychosocial characteristics and salary.