PhD Graduates – Dion

Michael Dion, PhD
Spring, 2006

“The Impact of Workplace Incivility and Occupational Stress On the Job Satisfaction and Turnover Intention of Acute Care Nurses”

Due to the nursing shortage, nurse leaders are focused on creating positive work environments that promote the recruitment and retention of nurses. Studies have shown that verbal abuse and disruptive behaviors are a frequent occurrence in today’s healthcare environment. The focus of this study is workplace incivility (WI) defined as “low – intensity deviant behavior with ambiguous intent to harm the target, in violation of workplace norms for mutual respect” (Andersson & Pearson, 1999, p. 457). The purpose of this quantitative study is to measure the impact of workplace incivility on the occupational stress, job satisfaction and turnover intention of acute care nurses. The impact of psychosocial factors, work-family and family-work conflict, perceived organizational and perceived supervisor support was also investigated. The target population of this study was acute care staff nurses in the State of Connecticut. The 960 registered nurses were selected via a systematic sampling method from a list of 37,500 nurses on a licensure list from the Connecticut Board of Nurse Examiners. The nurses selected were mailed a survey packet and a postcard reminder two weeks after the initial mailing to increase the return rate. The survey instrument consisted of statistically valid and reliable instruments used to measure workplace incivility, nurse occupational stress, job satisfaction, turnover intention, perceived organizational support, perceived supervisor support, work-family conflict and family-work conflict as well as a demographic information sheet developed by the researcher. Descriptive statistics were performed for every variable to organize and summarize the data. A correlation matrix of all variables was calculated to identify and measure their relationships. Every statistically significant correlation was entered into a stepwise regression using each of the variables as a dependent variable.

The study findings indicate that acute care nurses are experiencing occupational stress as a result of workplace incivility, work-family conflict or their intention to leave their present position. Their job satisfaction is decreased by their intention to leave their present position as well as their work-family conflict. Nurse leaders can influence nurses’ job satisfaction by being supportive of nurses who often have conflicting obligations at home, including child rearing and caring for dependent adults, which leads to occupational stress. The findings of this study have significant implications for nursing practice, education and research. Nurse managers and future nurse leaders must be educated about the incidence and outcomes of workplace incivility. Hospital programs and policies must be developed to create an environment for nurses to address workplace incivility in direct and professional manner. Further studies regarding workplace incivility and other outcomes(ie. patient satisfaction and nurse sensitive outcomes) must also be conducted. The identification of interventions that reduce the likelyhood of workplace incivility and its impact on nurse and patient outcomes may prove invaluable to the recruitment and retention of nurses and the delivery of quality patient care.

Pictured above (from left to right):
Dr. Carol Polifroni, Dr. Michael Dion, Dr. Barbara Jacobs