• intention to stay at work;
  • Jordan;
  • nurses;
  • performance;
  • recognition;
  • stress

Purpose  To investigate: (1) relationships between job stress, recognition of nurses’ performance, job performance and intention to stay among hospital nurses; and (2) the buffering effect of recognition of staff performance on the ‘stress–intention to stay at work’ relationship.

Background  Workplace stress tremendously affects today’s workforce. Recognition of nurses’ performance needs further investigation to determine if it enhances the level of intention to stay at work and if it can buffer the negative effects of stress on nurses’ intention to stay at work.

Design and methods  The sample of the present study was a convenience one. It consisted of 206 Jordanian staff nurses who completed a structured questionnaire.

Results  The findings of the study indicated a direct and a buffering effect of recognition of nurses’ performance on job stress and the level of intention to stay at work.

Conclusion  The results of the study indicated the importance of recognition for outstanding performance as well as achievements.

Implications for nursing management  The results of this study support the need to focus on the implementation of recognition strategies in the workplace to reduce job stress and enhance retention.