Academic journal article SAM Advanced Management Journal

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now: Nurse Burnout & Turnover Intentions

Academic journal article SAM Advanced Management Journal

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now: Nurse Burnout & Turnover Intentions

Article excerpt

Despite both the practical and academic significance of burnout in nursing, relatively few studies have examined the relationship between burnout in nurses and turnover intentions. Although there is emerging evidence that burnout in nurses is associated with turnover intentions, the literature has been virtually silent on the process that underlies their relationship. Understanding the process underpinning the relationship between burnout in nurses and turnover intentions is critical because as it may help organizations develop interventions and strategies for relief that reduce and eliminate burnout's prevalence in the workplace and which ultimately curtail nurse turnover. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to advance the burnout and healthcare literatures by articulating and testing a process model wherein nurse burnout leads to turnover intentions.

Introduction

Burnout can be described as a specific type of occupational stress comprised of three correlated, but conceptually distinct, dimensions (Maslach & Jackson, 1981). Emotional exhaustion refers to feelings of emotional depletion at work, depersonalization refers to negative views and callous attitudes toward one's clients or patients at work, and reduced personal accomplishment refers to feelings of ineffectiveness on the job. Due to its debilitating effects on employee motivation and productivity, as well as an organizations overall bottom line, employee burnout remains a topic of keen interest to management scholars and practitioners (Cropanzano, Rupp, & Byrne, 2002).

While not exclusive to human service professions, burnout has an extensive and pervasive history in health care. Numerous studies reveal that health care professionals experience high levels of burnout (e.g., Grau-Alberola, Gil-Monte, Garcia-Juesas, & Figueiredo-Ferraz,, 2010; Gupta, Paterson, Lysaght, & Von Zweck, 2012; Hamaideh, 2011; Rossi et al., 2012; Yang, Meredith, & Khan, 2015). A review of recent research reporting on the prevalence of burnout among health care professionals indicates that nurses experience burnout more frequently and at greater levels than their counterparts, such as physicians and medical technicians (Cimen, Sahin, Akbolat, & Isik, 2012; Kebapci & Akyolcu, 2011). Indeed, nurses have been found to be especially prone to burnout due to the stressful nature of their work (Ribeiro et al., 2014). Excessive work demands, limited job resources, and emotionally charged interactions with patients have all been identified as contributing factors (Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner, & Schaufeli, 2000; Garcfa-Sierra, Fernandez-Castro, & Martinez-Zaragoza, 2016). At the individual level, burnout in nurses has been tied to numerous health-related complications, including musculoskeletal disorders, sleeplessness, fatigue, feelings of helplessness and depression, and anxiety (Duan-Porter et al., 2018; Gholami et al., 2016; Kousloglou et al., 2014; Salaree, Zareiyan, Ebadi, & Salaree, 2014; Wei, Ji, Li, & Zhang, 2017; Zhou et al., 2018). Similarly, at the organizational level burnout in nurses has been linked to various institutional outcomes, including increased patient mortality, diminished job satisfaction, diminished organizational commitment, diminished quality of case, and patient dissatisfaction (Aiken, Clarke, Sloane, Sochalski, & Silber, 2002; Akman, Ozturk, Bektas, Ayar, & Armstrong, 2016; Chang et al., 2017; Van Bogaert et al, 2014; Stimpfel, Sloane, & Aiken, 2012).

Despite both the practical and academic significance of burnout in nursing, relatively few studies have examined the relationship between burnout in nurses and turnover intentions (Firth & Britton, 1989; Jannsen, de Jonge, & Bakker, 1999; Lee & Ashforth, 1996; Leiter & Maslach, 2009). Although there is emerging evidence that burnout in nurses is associated with turnover intentions, the literature has been virtually silent on the process that underlies this relationship. …

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