Aim To examine how front-line registered nurses’ perception of their work environment associates with and predicts nurse outcomes in terms of job satisfaction and turnover intention.
Background Mounting evidence has pointed to an inseparable link between attributes of the nursing work environment and nurse outcomes. However, there is a paucity of research examining nurses’ perception of their work environment beyond the Western context.
Methods This cross-sectional survey involved 1271 registered nurses working in 135 inpatient units in 10 public hospitals in Hong Kong. The instrument comprised items developed from in-depth interviews with front-line nurses that explored nurses’ perception of their work environment.
Results Factor analysis identified five dimensions (professionalism, co-worker relationship, management, staffing and resources, and ward practice) of the nursing work environment. Logistic regression analysis further identified professionalism, management and ward practice as significant factors in predicting nurses’ turnover intention, and staffing and resources as an additional factor in predicting their job satisfaction.
Conclusions Attributes of the nursing work environment have a significant bearing on nurses’ job satisfaction and intention to leave.
Implications for nursing management Managerial effort should focus on improving nurses’ work conditions through detailed resource planning, effective management and removal of work constraints that affect nursing practice.