Relationships among intensity of stressors, chronic stressors, perceived autonomy support, coping and nurses' affective commitment to their current jobs

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2008-12
Authors
King, Cynthia Andrea, 1975-
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Abstract

Hospitals are experiencing a critical shortage of qualified registered nurses. While traditional research explored reasons why nurses choose to leave their jobs, this study examined why nurses may choose to stay. Inter-relationships among cognitive, affective, and demographic variables and their impact on hospital nurses’ affective commitment to their current jobs were assessed. Participants included 134 full-time registered nurses in Dallas, Texas. They were asked about their tenure and educational degree, and completed the following measures online: Nurses’ Affective Commitment to Their Current Jobs; Nursing Stress Scale; Work Climate Questionnaire; and Coping Response Inventory. The results supported previous findings that nurses’ affective commitment to their current jobs was positively related to perceived autonomy support, percentage of reported coping approach strategies, and number of years worked in their current hospital unit. Furthermore, nurses’ affective commitment was negatively related to the two stress-related variables: number of chronic stressors (NCS) and intensity of stressors. In the primary analysis of the proposed Model of Nurses’ Affective Commitment to Their Current Jobs, a significant three-way interaction was found among perceived autonomy support and percentage of reported coping approach strategies (RCAS) on the relationship between NCS, and nurses’ affective commitment. A post hoc analysis found that nurses with a low level of RCAS had a significant change in the relationship between NCS and nurses’ affective commitment, depending on their level of perceived autonomy support. There was a negative relationship between NCS and nurses’ affective commitment for nurses’ with low levels of perceived autonomy support; whereas, there was a positive relationship between NCS and nurses’ affective commitment for nurses’ with high levels of perceived autonomy support. In addition, a secondary analysis on the model revealed that, for nurses working in their units less than six years, there was a varying degree of a positive relationship between RCAS and nurses’ affective commitment to their current jobs depending on the level of perceived autonomy support. However for nurses working more than six years, there was a negative relationship between RCAS and nurses’ affective commitment to their current jobs for nurses with low levels of perceived autonomy support.

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