How does burnout impact the three components of nursing professional commitment?

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Professional commitment has been defined as the degree to which an individual is dedicated to and proud of being a member of a profession, and how he/she believes in the values and goals of the profession and hopes to maintain membership thereof 1. Professional commitment is important to managers globally since it can boost individuals’ efforts to be devoted to their jobs 3 as well as enhance nursing job satisfaction 4 and nursing performance in healthcare organisations 6. Moreover, it can reduce nursing turnover intention and improve job satisfaction 3. However, previous studies on the applications of commitment have focused on organisational commitment (rather than professional commitment), thus indicating the need for research on professional commitment and its correlates.
When reviewing the literature for seeking for potential correlates of nursing professional commitment, burnout has been one of the most frequently examined constructs (as in 7) and has been defined as a lack of energy and emotion for work, psychological distress, emotional exhaustion, a self‐perception of degraded work performance and an occupational stress resulting from psychological and emotional demands 10. However, no study has yet examined how burnout is related to all three of the components of nursing professional commitment (i.e. affective, continuance and normative), revealing a research gap. Research filling this gap can distinguish whether burnout has a varied impact on the three components. Since the three differ from each other, the associations between burnout and these components are expected to be different.
Research addressing this issue is both theoretically and practically important. Theoretically, clarification of the relationships advances understanding of the importance of burnout by helping to clarify the distinction between the three components. Practically, understanding these components can help retain nurses 1 and enable nurses to accept current workplace practices and cooperate with colleagues 12. Therefore, research aiming to improve the component trio of nursing professional commitment can assist managers in effectively retaining nurses.
Hence, the purpose of this study was to address this omission by investigating the relationships between burnout and the three components of nursing professional commitment. This study is posited as an addition to existing knowledge on commitment in nursing. Specifically, the three components of occupational (professional) commitment have various influences on work‐related outcomes 12, demonstrating the distinctiveness and importance of these components. This study is unique in investigating one potential antecedent, that is burnout, of these components.
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