The association of Chinese hospital work environment with nurse burnout, job satisfaction, and intention to leave

Nurs Outlook. Mar-Apr 2014;62(2):128-37. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2013.10.010. Epub 2013 Nov 7.


The purpose of this study was to describe nurse burnout, job satisfaction, and intention to leave and to explore the relationship of work environment to nursing outcomes in a sample of 9,698 nurses from 181 hospitals in China. Nurses reported moderate levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and high levels of reduced personal accomplishment. Nearly one-fifth of the nurses reported high levels of burnout on all three dimensions. Forty-five percent of the nurses were dissatisfied with their current job; these nurses were most dissatisfied with their salary. Five percent of nurses reported an intention to leave. Nurses reporting mixed and good work environments were less likely to report high burnout, job dissatisfaction, and intention to leave compared with those in poor work environments. The results suggest that high burnout and low job satisfaction are prominent problems for Chinese nurses, and improving work environment might be an effective strategy for better nursing outcomes in Chinese hospitals.

Keywords: Burnout; Job satisfaction; Nurse; Nursing in China; Retention; Turnover; Work environment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Personnel Turnover
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Workplace / psychology*
  • Young Adult