Influence of work-related characteristics and work ability on changing employer or leaving the profession among nursing staff
Version of Record online: 13 AUG 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Work Climate, Communication and Culture - Workforce Issues and Staff Retention Issue editor: Kristiina Hyrkas
Volume 22, Issue 8, pages 1065–1075, November 2014
How to Cite
2014) Journal of Nursing Management 22, 1065–1075. Influence of work-related characteristics and work ability on changing employer or leaving the profession among nursing staff, , , , & (
- Issue online: 3 NOV 2014
- Version of Record online: 13 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 JAN 2013
- European Commission. Grant Number: QLK-6-CT-2001–00475
- Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development . Grant Number: 208010002
- longitudinal design;
- nursing staff;
- work ability index;
- work characteristics
To investigate how work-related characteristics and work ability influence nursing staff decisions to change employer or leave the profession.
Previous cross-sectional studies have indicated that decreased work ability and unfavourable work-related characteristics are important determinants for the intention to leave the profession among nursing staff.
A 1-year longitudinal study, using data from the European Nurses' Early Exit Study. The study population consisted of 9927 (66%) members of the eligible nursing staff of which 345 left their current employer. Work-related characteristics, work ability and employment status were assessed by questionnaires.
Nursing staff with a low work ability were more likely to either change employer or leave the profession. Among nursing staff with a low work ability the risk of changing employer increased significantly with unfavourable work-related characteristics. However, among nursing staff with a good work ability the risk of changing employer barely changed with unfavourable work-related characteristics.
The negative effects of decreased work ability on changing employer and leaving the profession are partly counterbalanced by favourable psychological and physical work-related characteristics.
Implications for nursing management
Managers should implement strategies that focus on promoting the work ability of nursing staff in combination with improving work-related characteristics in order to prevent unnecessary changes of employment.