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Nurses’ Intention to Leave the Organization: A Mediation Study of Professional Burnout and Engagement

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 August 2018

Alexandra Marques-Pinto
Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal)
Élvio Henriques Jesus
Universidade Catolica Portuguesa (Portugal)
Aida Maria Oliveira Cruz Mendes
Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra (Portugal)
Inês Fronteira
Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
Magda Sofia Roberto
Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal)


The nature of the turnover process calls for the study of more complex relationships among variables beyond simple bivariate or multiple associations between predictors and turnover intentions. The present article aims to examine the predictive value of job demands and resources in the explanation of nurses’ intention to leave the organization and to test the mediating roles of professional burnout and engagement in these relationships, within a Portuguese nursing population. The research models were tested within the scope of the Registered Nurse Forecasting project. Data included the self-report questionnaires of 2,235 Portuguese nurses from 31 hospitals, collected through stratified random sampling procedures. The statistical analyses of the structural models showed that nurses’ participation in hospital affairs, a job resource at the work organization level, was the only significant predictor of nurses´ intention to leave the organization (β = –.45, p < .001). Analyses of the mediation models revealed that the emotional exhaustion symptoms of burnout (β = –.11, p < .001) and job engagement feelings (β = –.15, p < .001) were both significant mediators between nurses’ decisional involvement and their intentions to leave the organization. Results suggest that including nurses in decision-making processes regarding their professional practice policy and environment, and improving nurses’ professional well-being are two crucial strategies to reduce nurses’ turnover intentions.

Research Article
Copyright © Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid 2018 

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