Objective: The aim of this study was to explore professional mattering in a broad cohort of nurses.
Background: Mattering is a construct from social psychology that describes the feeling that one makes a difference in the lives of others and has significance in one's community.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey assessing mattering, meaning, social support, burnout, and engagement was administered to nurses and nurse practitioners working in various specialties in the United States.
Results: Higher levels of mattering at work were associated with lower burnout and higher engagement. Mattering was correlated with perceived social support from one's organization, supervisor, peers, and subordinates. Open-ended responses describing experiences of mattering at work included demonstrating professional competence, positive interactions with patients and interprofessional peers, and receiving recognition from one's organization.
Conclusions: A perception of mattering at work is associated with lower levels of burnout. Our data suggest that affirming interactions with other healthcare team members promote a sense of mattering.
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