Nurses' Voluntary Turnover during Early Hospital Career as Predicted by Depressive Symptoms and Anxiety Symptoms

  •  Meyrav Marom    
  •  Meni koslowsky    


Using a longitudinal design, this study examined the unique effects of depressive symptoms and of anxiety
symptoms on voluntary turnover of nurses during the early stage of their hospital career. We hypothesized that
depressive symptoms would negatively predict turnover and that anxiety symptoms would positively predict
turnover after controlling for their common variance. We also hypothesized the same effects for depressive and
anxiety symptoms when assessed as changes over time. We collected longitudinal data from 201 newly
employed hospital nurses in 25 general hospitals who completed questionnaires with a time lag of about six
months at Time 1 (T1) and Time 2 (T2). To gauge turnover, we used the official hospitals' records at Time 3 (T3),
about one year after the study's T1. Logistic regressions were used to test our hypotheses. As expected, we found
that T2 anxiety symptoms increased the odds of the nurses' turnover while T2 depressive symptoms decreased it.
As expected, the higher the increase between T1 and T2 in depressive symptoms, the lower the odds of the
nurses turnover. However, we did not support the expectation that the T1 to T2 changes in anxiety symptoms
would predict turnover positively. We suggest that the unique content of depression and anxiety differ markedly
in their effects on quitting behavior.

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