Job stress and burnout: A comparative study of senior and head nurses in China

Nurs Health Sci. 2017 Jun;19(2):163-169. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12328. Epub 2017 Jan 31.


Senior nurses can suffer from high job stress and burnout, which can lead to negative patient outcomes and higher turnover rates; however, few studies have examined this topic. We recruited 224 head and senior nurses from September to December 2015 using convenience and cluster sampling, to compare job stress and burnout levels between the two groups. The Nurse Job Stressors Inventory and Maslach Burnout Inventory scales were used to evaluate job stress and burnout, respectively. Results indicated that job stress scores significantly differed between head and senior nurses. The highest scoring subscales in both groups were time allocation and workload problems. Scores for the three burnout dimensions also significantly differed between the groups. Positive correlations between job stress and burnout were stronger among senior nurses than head nurses. Burnout may be higher among senior nurses given head nurses' potential for greater perceived job control. Our findings suggest that measures need to be taken to reduce burnout and turnover rates among senior nurses.

Keywords: Burnout; China; head nurses; job stress; senior nurses.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse Administrators / psychology*
  • Nurse Administrators / statistics & numerical data
  • Personnel Turnover / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires