Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Understanding nurse anesthetists' intention to leave their job: How burnout and job satisfaction mediate the impact of personality and workplace characteristics

Meeusen, Vera C.H.; Van Dam, Karen; Brown-Mahoney, Chris; Van Zundert, Andre A.J.; Knape, Hans T.A.

doi: 10.1097/HMR.0b013e3181fb0f41

Background: The retention of nurse anesthetists is of paramount importance, particularly in view of the fact that the health care workforce is shrinking. Although many health care providers find their work satisfying, they often consider leaving their jobs because of the stress. Are there ways to improve this situation?

Purpose: This study investigated how work environment characteristics and personality dimensions relate to burnout and job satisfaction and ultimately to turnover intention among Dutch nurse anesthetists.

Methodology: An online self-reporting questionnaire survey was performed among Dutch nurse anesthetists. The questionnaire included scales to assess personality dimensions, work climate, work context factors, burnout, job satisfaction, and turnover intention. The research model stated that personality dimensions, work climate, and work context factors, mediated by burnout and job satisfaction, predict turnover intention. Structural equation modeling was used to test the research model.

Findings: Nine hundred twenty-three questionnaires were completed (46% response rate). Burnout mediated the relationship between personality dimensions and turnover intention; job satisfaction mediated the relationship of work climate and work context factors to turnover intention.

Practice Implications: To retain nursing staff and to maintain adequate staff strength, it is important to improve job satisfaction by creating a positive work climate and work context and to prevent burnout by selecting the most suitable employees through personality assessment.

Vera C.H. Meeusen, PhD, MA, RNA, is Manager, OR Department, Catharina Hospital, Brabant Medical School, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. E-mail:

Karen Van Dam, PhD, is Professor, Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

Chris Brown-Mahoney, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Health Care Administration, Department of Management and Labor Relations, Nance College of Business Administration, Cleveland State University, OH.

Andre A.J. Van Zundert, MD,PhD,FRCA, is Professor and Director, Department of Anesthesiology, Catharina Hospital, Brabant Medical School, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Hans T.A. Knape, MD, PhD, FRCA, is Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Perioperative and Emergency Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.