The aim of this study was to explore professional mattering in a broad cohort of nurses.
Mattering is a construct from social psychology that describes the feeling that one makes a difference in the lives of others and has significance in one's community.
A cross-sectional survey assessing mattering, meaning, social support, burnout, and engagement was administered to nurses and nurse practitioners working in various specialties in the United States.
Higher levels of mattering at work were associated with lower burnout and higher engagement. Mattering was correlated with perceived social support from one's organization, supervisor, peers, and subordinates. Open-ended responses describing experiences of mattering at work included demonstrating professional competence, positive interactions with patients and interprofessional peers, and receiving recognition from one's organization.
A perception of mattering at work is associated with lower levels of burnout. Our data suggest that affirming interactions with other healthcare team members promote a sense of mattering.