The relationship between job demands and burnout, job satisfaction and intention to leave among nurses: testing the moderating effect of skill discretion

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Nursing has always been considered a stressful profession. It is also well-known how these workers are exposed at the risk of developing job burnout, tend to experience low job satisfaction, and are prone, more the other professions, to job abandon. Reasons of these include the constant involvement in highly emotional demanding relationship with care recipients, dealing with critical or adverse events such as patient’s illness complication or death, as well as being subjected to heavy physical demands and night shift. In this context, to understand which characteristics of the work environment can help lessen negative outcomes on nurses health is crucial.

The role of some job resources in moderating the detrimental effect of job demands on workers health are debatable (Haussen et al 2010, Bakker et al. 2010). This is especially the case of skill discretion. As argued by De Jonge et al. (2010), skill discretion is controversial because it could be perceived as a demand rather than a protective factor. Indeed, skill discretion refers not only to the opportunity to use consolidated skills the but also to the process to learn new things and to exercise creativity. Those latest aspects, although they could be considered positive characteristics of the job, require a mobilization of energy related to the learning process. In that sense, skill discretion could have a different nature from the other resources commonly considered (i.e., support from organization) that fully works as supporters and do not require depletion of energy. This argument is supported by some findings: a heterogeneous study among 1,739 employees showed that skill discretion was positively associated with psychosomatic health complaints and sickness absence (de Jonge et al. 2000). In light of these considerations, the aim of the present study is to assess both the direct and the indirect effect of skill discretion (i.e., by moderating the effect of job demands) on job burnout, satisfaction with job and intention to leave.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2015
EventInternational Conference on Occupational Stress and Health: 2015: Sustainable Work, Sustainable Health, Sustainable Organizations - United States, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 6 May 20159 May 2015
Conference number: 11th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Occupational Stress and Health
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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