The work engagement of nurses in multiple hospital sectors in Saudi Arabia: a comparative study

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Abstract

Aim

To examine the differences in work engagement among nurses in Saudi Arabia and its relationship with personal characteristics across different hospital affiliations.

Background

Quality care requires an adequate supply of engaged nurses who are dedicated, energised and absorbed in their work. In the nursing profession, work engagement is of considerable importance, owing to the shortage of nurses and the continuing reduction in healthcare costs.

Method

An analytic comparative cross-sectional design was used. Eight hospitals from three provinces and different affiliation types participated in the study. The Utrecht work engagement scale (UWES) was used to measure 980 nurses' work engagement.

Results

The findings indicate that nurses' total engagement scores were closer to the higher end of the Likert scale. The findings indicate generally high levels of work engagement, particularly regarding the element of dedication. Furthermore, the study shows significant differences in nurses' engagement among the various work settings and in nurses' age and experience.

Conclusions

A number of nurses' personal characteristics have independent influences on their work engagement.

Implications for Nursing Management

Nurse leaders should acknowledge that a statement of professional nursing scope of practice is a necessity to encourage and fulfil engagement.

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