University of Tasmania

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Occupational stress in the Australian nursing workforce: A comparison between hospital-based nurses and nurses working in very remote communities

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 21:06 authored by Opie, T, Lenthall, S, Wakeman, J, Dolard, M, MacLeod, M, Knight, S, Greg RickardGreg Rickard, Dunn, S

Objective: to compare workplace conditions and levels of occupational stress in two samples of Australian nurses.

Design: The research adopted a cross-sectional design, using a structured questionnaire. Setting Health centres in very remote Australia and three major Australian hospitals.

Subjects: 349 nurses working in very remote Australia and 277 nurses working in three major hospitals in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Main Outcome Measures: The main outcome measures were psychological distress (assessed using the General Health Questionnaire-12), emotional exhaustion (assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory), work engagement (assessed using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale 9) and job satisfaction (assessed using a single item measure based on previous relevant research).

Results: Results revealed that nurses working in major Australian hospitals reported higher levels of psychological distress and emotional exhaustion than nurses working very remotely. However, both groups report relatively high levels of stress. Nurses working very remotely demonstrated higher levels of work engagement and job satisfaction. There are common job demands and resources associated with outcome measures for both nurses working very remotely and nurses working in major hospitals.

Conclusion: This research has implications for workplace interventions and the retention of staff in both hospitals and remote area health care facilities.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing










School of Paramedicine


Australian Nursing Federation

Place of publication


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives