Impact of engagement factors on nurses' intention to leave hospital employment

J Nurs Manag. 2021 Sep;29(6):1554-1564. doi: 10.1111/jonm.13287. Epub 2021 Mar 4.


Aim: To determine the impact of workforce engagement factors on nurses' intention to leave their hospital.

Background: Nurse retention is important for safe patient care. It is unknown whether meaning and joy in work, occupational fatigue, job satisfaction and unprofessional behaviour experiences predict hospital nurse turnover intentions.

Method: This cross-sectional study involved responses from 747 nurses from two south-western hospitals. Measures included surveys to capture meaning and joy in work, job satisfaction, occupational fatigue and unprofessional behaviour exposure/impact.

Results: Following correlational analyses, manifest variables significantly correlated with related latent factors. In structural equation modelling, greater chronic occupational fatigue was the strongest and meaning and joy at work (negative direction) the next strongest predictor of turnover intention. Although significant, job satisfaction and acute fatigue were weak predictors. Inter-shift recovery did not predict intent to leave.

Conclusion: This is the first study to identify Chronic Fatigue and meaning and joy in work as significant predictors of hospital nurse turnover intentions.

Implications for nursing management: Employing practices that decrease chronic fatigue and increase meaning/joy in work are recommended to improve nurse retention.

Keywords: chronic fatigue; job satisfaction; nurses; structural equation modelling; turnover intention.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Nurses*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Personnel Turnover
  • Surveys and Questionnaires