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The Prevalence and Predictors of Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout and Secondary Traumatic Stress in Registered Nurses in an Eastern Canadian Province: A Cross-Sectional Study.

BACKGROUND: The quality of Registered Nurses' worklife is impacting nurses' mental health, and the standard of care received by clients. Contributing factors to nurses' stress are the trauma of continuous caring for those in great suffering, and adverse working conditions.

OBJECTIVES: i) to explore the prevalence of work-related stress in a provincial sample of Registered Nurses; ii) to compare the levels of compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress reported by nurses in hospital, community, non-direct care settings, and, iii) to identify factors that predict levels of nursing work stress.

METHODS: A descriptive, predictive study with a self-report survey containing demographic questions and the Professional Quality of Life Scale was emailed to over 3,300 Registered Nurses. The scale measured the prevalence of three worklife indicators, compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Multiple linear regression identified factors that predicted the levels of the three indicators. A subgroup analysis explored the quality of worklife based on three practice environments.

FINDINGS: Nurses (n  =  661) reported moderate compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. The strongest predictor, satisfaction with one's current job, predicted high compassion satisfaction and lower burnout and secondary stress. The subgroup analysis identified hospital nurses as having the most work-related stress and the lowest level of compassion satisfaction.

CONCLUSION: Innovative, collaborative action can transform nurses' practice environments. Organizational support is essential to bring about needed improvements.

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