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Predictors of registered nurses' organizational commitment and intent to stay

Gregory, Deborah M.; Way, Christine Y.; LeFort, Sandra; Barrett, Brendan J.; Parfrey, Patrick S.

doi: 10.1097/01.HMR.0000267788.79190.f4
Features

Background: Health care reform has significantly altered employment relations. Research findings suggest that the presence or absence of supportive work environments helps explain the differences observed in employee attitudes and turnover intentions.

Purposes: The purposes of this study were to examine frontline registered nurses' (RNs') perceptions of organizational culture and attitudes and behaviors and test a model linking culture to outcome (organizational commitment and intent to stay).

Methodology: A nonexperimental predictive survey design was used to test the model in a sample (N = 343) of acute care RNs employed in one Canadian province. Data were collected with the following scales: Emotional Climate, Practice Issues, Collaborative Relations, Psychological Contract Violation, General Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment Questionnaire, and Intent to Stay.

Findings: The response rate was 29.4%. Most respondents were middle aged and diploma prepared, were in their current positions for 5 years or more, had 10 or more years of nursing experience, and worked full time. Despite moderate levels of job satisfaction, RNs held negative perceptions of culture (emotional climate, practice-related issues, and collaborative relations), trust, and commitment and were unlikely to stay with current employers. Structural equation modeling provided support for the impact of culture, trust, and satisfaction on commitment and partial support for intent to stay, explaining 45 and 31% of the variance, respectively.

Practice Implications: The development and implementation of policies and interventions aimed at creating more supportive work environments and greater trust in employers and job satisfaction have merit. The most obvious benefit from such strategic interventions is the potential for improving RNs' organizational commitment and reducing turnover intentions.

Deborah M. Gregory, MSc, a Doctoral Candidate in Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. E-mail: dgregory@mun.ca.

Christine Y. Way, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Clinical Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. E-mail: cway@mun.ca.

Sandra LeFort, PhD, Director, School of Nursing, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. E-mail: slefort@mun.ca.

Brendan J. Barrett, MD, Professor of Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. E-mail: bbarrett@mun.ca. Dr. Barrett holds a CIHR (RPP) Scientist Award.

Patrick S. Parfrey, MD, University Research Professor, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. E-mail: pparfrey@mun.ca. Dr. Parfrey holds a CIHR (RPP) Distinguished Scientist Award.

The Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, Health Care Corporation of St. John's, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services funded this research. The research protocol was approved by the Human Investigation Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.