Journal List > J Korean Acad Nurs Adm > v.17(1) > 1051580

Yu: Work Stress, Turnover Intention and Burnout among Nurses in Neonatal Intensive Care Units



This study was done to identify differences in work environment, work stress, turnover intention and burnout and investigate the relationship among these variables in nurses in Korean Neonatal Intensive Care Units.


Participants were 242 nurses working in 13 general hospitals. Burnout was measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), work stress with the instrument by Gu & Kim (1994), and turnover intention with the scale by Kim & Lee (2001). Size of the NICU, nurse to patient ratio, and communication satisfaction were included in work environment. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficients and multiple regression analysis with SPSS WIN program.


The mean score for work stress in NICU nurses was 3.43 points, for burnout, 2.72 points, and for turnover intention, 4.64 points. Burnout and turnover intention level of participants were moderate-high. Work stress, communication dissatisfaction with physician, and clinical career accounted for 33% of variance in burnout. Significant differences were found between size of NICU and staffing related to environmental characteristics in turnover intention and burnout.


Results indicate that effective communication with coworkers and institutional support for appropriate staffing according to number of beds will help to prevent work stress, burnout, and ultimately, nurses' resignations.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
Work stress, turnover intention & burnout scores according to demographic variables (N=242)
Table 2
Work stress, turnover intention & burnout scores of work environment variables (Hospital N=13, Nurses N=242)

N/P=nurse to patient ratio.

Table 3
Degree of work stress, turnover intention & burnout (N=242)
Table 4
Correlation of demographic variables, work stress, turnover intention and burnout

*p<.05; p<.01.

X1=Marital state; X2=Age; X3=Education level; X4=Career; X5=Position; X6=Number of Night duties/month; X7=Number of NICU Beds; X8=Grade; X9=Nurse to patient ratio (week days); X10= Nurse to patient ratio (weekend); X11=Communication; X12=Work stress; X13=Turnover intention; X14=Burnout.

Table 5
Factors influencing burnout in participants

Adj R2 = Adjusted R2.


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