Aims and objectives: The aim was to examine significant factors for work attractiveness and how these differ from the current work situation among operating department nurses. A second objective was to examine the associations between age, gender, length of employment, work engagement, work ability, self-rated health indicators and attractiveness of the current work situation.
Background: The attractiveness of work is rarely taken into account in research on nurse retention. To expand this knowledge, it is relevant to examine factors that make work attractive and their associations with related concepts.
Design: Correlational, cross-sectional survey using a convenience sample.
Methods: Questionnaires were answered by 147 nurses in four operating departments in Sweden. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted.
Results: The nurses rated the significance of all factors of work attractiveness higher than they rated those factors in their current work situation; salary, organisation and physical work environment had the largest differences. The most significant attractive factors were relationships, leadership and status. A statistically significant positive correlation between work engagement and attractive work was found. In the multiple regression model, the independent variables work engagement and older age significantly predicted work attractiveness.
Conclusions: Several factors should be considered in the effort to increase work attractiveness in operating departments and thereby to encourage nurse retention. Positive aspects of work seem to unite work engagement and attractive work, while work ability and self-rated health indicators are other important dimensions in nurse retention.
Relevance to clinical practice: The great discrepancies between the significance of attractive factors and the current work situation in salary, organisation and physical work environment suggest ways in which work attractiveness may be increased. To discover exactly what needs to be improved may require a deeper look into the construct of the examined factors.
Keywords: attractive work; cross-sectional survey; health manpower; perioperative care; personnel turnover; workplace.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.