Occupational stress, job satisfaction, and working environment among Icelandic nurses: a cross-sectional questionnaire survey

Herdís Sveinsdóttir, Páll Biering, Alfons Ramel
International Journal of Nursing Studies 2006, 43 (7): 875-89

BACKGROUND: Nurses' occupational stress decreases job satisfaction, increases turnover rate, and reduces nursing quality. At different workplaces nurses are confronted with different work tasks, working conditions and hence different sources of stress.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore what factors contribute to work-related stress among Icelandic nurses working within and outside the hospital environment.

DESIGN: The study used a cross-sectional survey design.

SETTINGS AND PARTICIPANTS: The study population was composed of all working nurses registered at the Icelandic Nurses' Association (INA). Approximately 95% (N=2,234) of Icelandic nurses are members of the INA. Questionnaires were posted to 522 (23.4%) randomly selected participants. The response rate was 42% (N=219), representing 9.8% of the population. Data was analyzed from 206 nurses; 35% worked outside the hospital setting and 65% were hospital based.

METHODS: Data was gathered on demographic information and indicators of working conditions, occupational stress, workload, and job satisfaction. A stepwise, multiple linear regression model was employed to calculate significant predictors of occupational stress.

RESULTS: The findings suggest that the strenuous conditions of Icelandic nurses are felt more severely among hospital nurses than among nurses working outside hospital settings. The study identified which sources of occupational stress are specific to each of the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The study found several factors that contribute to work-related stress. These findings can be used to guide preventive measures to diminish occupational stress among Icelandic nurses.

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