The relationship between UK hospital nurse staffing and emotional exhaustion and job dissatisfaction

J Nurs Manag. 2005 Jan;13(1):51-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2004.00460.x.


Aim: To explore the relationship between nurse outcomes (dissatisfaction and emotional exhaustion) and nurse workload, nurse characteristics and hospital variables.

Background: Concern about the impact of restructuring of nurse staffing, and reports of nurse shortages, on nurse and patient outcomes led to the research being reported on in this article.

Methods: A questionnaire survey of registered nurses in Scotland and England. A questionnaire survey of the hospitals in which these nurses worked.

Results: Respondents in the two countries were similar in terms of demographic, work and employment characteristics. Significant relationships were found using the combined English and Scottish data between nurse patient ratios and (1) emotional exhaustion and (2) dissatisfaction with current job reported by nurses.

Conclusions: Increasing numbers of patients to nurses was associated with increasing risk of emotional exhaustion and dissatisfaction with current job.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / etiology*
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / supply & distribution*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling*
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Workload*