Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/32602
Title: Stabilizing and destabilizing forces in the nursing work environment : a qualitative study on turnover intention
Authors: Choi, SPP
Pang, SMC 
Cheung, K 
Wong, TKS
Keywords: Life experiences
Nurses
Personnel turnover
Phenomenology
Work environment
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: International journal of nursing studies, 2011, v. 48, no. 10, p. 1290-1301 How to cite?
Journal: International journal of nursing studies 
Abstract: Background: The nursing work environment, which provides the context of care delivery, has been gaining increasing attention in recent years. A growing body of evidence points to an inseparable link between attributes of the nursing work environment and nurse and patient outcomes. While most studies have adopted a survey design to examine the workforce and work environment issues, this study employed a phenomenological approach to provide empirical evidence regarding nurses' perceptions of their work and work environment. Aim: The aim of this study was to advance our understanding of the phenomenon of increasing nurse turnover through exploring frontline registered nurses' lived experiences of working in Hong Kong public hospitals. Methods and participants: A modified version of Van Kaam's controlled explication method was adopted. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 frontline nurses recruited from ten acute regional, district and non-acute public hospitals in Hong Kong. Their perspectives in regard to their work and work environment, such as workload, manpower demand and professional values, were extensively examined, and a hypothetical description relating the nursing work environment with nurses' turnover intention was posited. Results: Contemplation of nurses' experiences revealed the vulnerable aspects of nursing work and six essential constituents of the nursing work environment, namely staffing level, work responsibility, management, co-worker relationships, job, and professional incentives. These essential constituents have contributed to two sets of forces, stabilizing and destabilizing forces, which originate from the attributes of the nursing work environment. Nurses viewed harmonious co-worker relationships, recognition and professional development as the crucial retaining factors. However, nurses working in an unfavorable environment were overwhelmed by destabilizing forces; they expressed frustration and demonstrated an intention to leave their work environment. Conclusions: The nursing work environment is a complex entity comprising multiple constituents; its attributes affect nurses' perceptions of their work and work environment, which warrant special attention in addressing the phenomenon of increasing nurse turnover.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/32602
ISSN: 0020-7489
EISSN: 1873-491X
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2011.03.005
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