Background: The alarmingly high rate of illness-related absenteeism among nurses and recent reports of workplace violence and burnout are problematic for both the current workforce shortage and the recruitment and retention of new nurses.
Objectives: To test a model derived from Leiter and Maslach's (2004) Six Areas of Worklife Model linking workplace factors (six areas of worklife, experiences of bullying and burnout) and a personal dispositional factor (psychological capital) to new graduates mental and physical health in their first year of practice.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was utilized to survey 165 Ontario nurses with one year or less experience in nursing. Participants completed measures of nurses' work environment quality, psychological capital, bullying exposure, burnout, and physical and mental health. Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypothesized model.
Results: The fit indices suggested a reasonably adequate fit of the data to the hypothesized model (χ2=27.75, df=12, CFI=.97, IFI=.97, RMSEA=.09), however an additional direct path from psychological capital to emotional exhaustion substantially improved the model fit (χ2=17.94, df=11, CFI=.99, IFI=.99, RMSEA=.06). Increased psychological capital positively influenced nurses' perceived person-job fit, which in turn was negatively related to bullying exposure and emotional exhaustion, and ultimately influenced their physical and mental health.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that psychological capital and perceived person-job fit are key variables in new graduate nurses' worklife, which may contribute to decreased nurses' burnout and increased physical and mental well-being. The results support an expanded conceptualization of the areas of worklife model.
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