The impact of perceived workload on nurse satisfaction with work-life balance and intention to leave the occupation

Peter Holland, Tse Leng Tham, Cathy Sheehan, Brian Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and aim: In the drive to make the health sector more economically efficient and effective, what is potentially being lost is the need to look after the well-being of those who work within this profession. Nurses are the largest group in the health sector workforce and the frontline of patient care. Workload perceptions are known to be impacting nurses' well-being and are becoming a critical concern for the retention of this workforce. In response, this study aims to examine the relationships among perceived workload, satisfaction with work-life balance (an indicator of well-being), and intention to leave the occupation. Additionally, high involvement work practices (HIWPs) are examined as a form of organisational support that may buffer the negative impact of perceived workload on nurses' well-being and intention to leave the occupation. Method: A 2016 online survey of the nursing profession in Australia yielded 2984 responses. We assessed the impact of perceived workload on nurses' well-being and intention to leave the occupation, and the role of HIWPs in ameliorating the negative impact of perceived workload. Results and conclusion: Our results show that perceived workload is associated with increasing intention to leave the occupation and is mediated by nurses' satisfaction with work-life balance. Where organisational support is provided through HIWPs, this can mitigate such intentions. These aspects are within the control of those who manage this workforce and should be central to human resource management strategies in the health care sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • High involvement work practices (HIWPs)
  • Intention to leave
  • Nursing
  • Retention
  • Work-life balance
  • Workload

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