The aim of the study was to explore the characteristics of nursing work and the correlation with the conditions in nurses’ work environment.
Although the correlation between nurses’ work characteristics and the safety of healthcare provision has been confirmed, nurses continue to work in discouraging environments.
A cross-sectional study was conducted. A total of 1,744 nurses from 16 Slovenian hospitals participated. Variables included: work characteristics, ergonomic conditions at work, the prevalence of low back pain, and self-assessment of conditions in the work environment.
One nurse was responsible for 17.90 patients per shift (SD=13.615), shifts were understaffed in 42.9% of cases, and technical assistive devices were available in 30% of cases. Job demands were explained with: number of patients/shift (p<0.001), job satisfaction (p<0.001), availability of assistive devices (p=0.001), and the female gender (p=0.001). Decision authority was low and explained with a non-leadership position (p<0.001), educational achievement (p<0.001), dissatisfaction with the job (p<0.001), and the male gender (p=0.008).
A safe patient-to-nurse ratio, job satisfaction, availability of assistive devices, and fostering decision authority turned out to be important in our study.
Europe is facing an increasing shortage of nurses, so actions for reducing nurse overload and encouraging decision authority are extremely important both for nurses and patients. Participative leadership and ensuring gender equality in nursing are vital.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.