Nurse turnover: the mediating role of burnout

J Nurs Manag. 2009 Apr;17(3):331-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2009.01004.x.


Aim: This study tested whether the mediation model of burnout could predict nurses' turnover intentions.

Background: A better understanding of what factors support a commitment to a nursing career could inform both policies and workplace practices. The mediation model of burnout provides a way of linking the quality of a nurse's worklife to various outcomes, such as turnover.

Method: Data on areas of worklife, burnout, and turnover intentions were collected by surveying 667 Canadian nurses in the Atlantic Provinces.

Results: The findings supported the mediation model of burnout, in which areas of worklife predicted burnout, which in turn predicted turnover intentions. Cynicism was the key burnout dimension for turnover, and the most critical areas of worklife were value conflicts and inadequate rewards.

Conclusions: The results of this study provide some new insights into how the intention of nurses to leave their job is related to particular aspects of their worklife and to burnout.

Implications for nursing management: These results suggest what may be the most appropriate areas to target for interventions to reduce the risk of nurses exiting early from their chosen career.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Data Collection
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Personnel Turnover*
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Psychometrics
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology