Date of Conferral







Barbara Chappell


Nursing is a stressful occupation, which can often lead to compassion fatigue (CF) and turnover intention (TI). When their basic psychological needs (BPN) of competence, relatedness, and autonomy are not met, registered nurses (RNs) may develop a higher propensity to experience CF and TI. Amid projected nursing shortages, the loss of these health care providers may threaten the quality of patient care. Although there is research on BPN and their relationship with well-being and functioning, research is lacking on the relationship between BPN satisfaction, CF and TI among RNs. Researchers have also not examined whether RNs' BPN satisfaction moderates the relationship between CF and TI. To examine these relationships, a quantitative study based on self-determination theory was conducted. A convenience sample of 99 RNs from a nursing association in southern Arizona completed 3 online instruments: Basic Need Satisfaction at Work Scale, Turnover Intention Scale, and Professional Quality of Life Scale Version 5. Linear, correlational, multiple, and step-wise regression analyses were used for testing the study's four hypotheses. Results showed that the BPN of autonomy and competence were related to CF, and all three BPN were related to TI. Additional analysis showed that CF and TI were only marginally related. Results from multiple regression analysis revealed that only 2 predictors, competence and autonomy, significantly predicted TI. Social change implications include the potential to recognize the significance of meeting RNs' BPN, and a consequent reduction of both CF and TI, thus potentially contributing to improved patient care as well as increased productivity and morale.

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