Predictors of nurses considering leaving the profession due to work-related stress in a large pediatric and women’s hospital in the United States

Joseph L. Hagan, Lynda Tyer-Viola, Krisanne Graves


Nurse retention is of extreme importance in modern healthcare given the ever increasing nursing shortage and the high cost of training newly hired nurses. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that stress is strongly correlated with nursing staff turnover. This study examines the relationship of Secondary Traumatic Stress, Burnout, Compassion Satisfaction, personal life stress and nurse demographic characteristics with having considered leaving the nursing profession due to work-related stress. A survey was administered to nurses at a large pediatric and women’s hospital in the southern United States. Bivariate analyses (n = 496) indicated being Caucasian (p < .001), working fewer hours per week (p = .009), experiencing more personal life stress (p < .001), having higher Burnout (p < .001), or Secondary Traumatic Stress (p < .001) scores or lower Compassion Satisfaction (p = .015) scores were significantly associated with increased likelihood of having considered leaving the nursing profession. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, after variable selection, higher levels of Burnout (p < .001), more life stress (p = .010), being Caucasian (p < .001) and working fewer hours (p = .004) were all significantly associated with higher odds of considering leaving the nursing profession. Interventions to reduce work-related Burnout and help nurses cope with stressful life events are needed to increase retention of nurses in the profession.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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