New nurses’ perceptions of professional practice behaviours, quality of care, job satisfaction and career retention


Aim: To test a model examining the effects of structural empowerment and support for professional practice on new graduate nurses’ perceived professional practice behaviours, perceptions of care quality, and subsequent job satisfaction and career turnover intention. Background: The Nursing Worklife Model describes the relationship between environmental factors that support nursing practice and nurse and patient outcomes. The influence of support for professional practice on new nurses’ perceptions of professional nursing behaviours within this model has yet to be tested. Method: Structural equation modeling in Amos software was used to analyze data from a national survey of new graduate nurses across Canada (n = 393). Findings: The model fit the data reasonably well: χ² (124) = 360.054, χ/df=2.904, CFI=. 913, IFI=. 914, RMSEA=.070. The results supported our hypothesized model. The professional practice behaviours, as an individual contributor, mediated the relationship between organizational empowerment, support for professional practice and quality of care, which in turn negatively associated with career turnover intention among new nurses. All paths in the model were significant. Conclusion: The results suggest that job satisfaction and career retention of new nurses are related to their perceptions of work environment factors that support their professional practice behaviours and high quality care. Implications for nursing managers: To diminish nurse job dissatisfaction and intention of career turnover, and to enable them to deliver high quality patient care, nurse managers need to encourage individual professional behaviours, and employ organizational empowerment strategies to support nurses’ professional practice. Keywords: empowerment, nursing, professional practice behaviours, patient care quality, job satisfaction, career turnover