Factors Associated with Working During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Intent to Stay at Current Nursing Position

Kathryn Leep-Lazar, Amy Witkoski Stimpfel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pandemic exacerbated job stress and burnout among nurses, increasing turnover and intentions to leave, in a workforce struggling with severe shortages. Shortages and turnover are associated with decreased quality of care, poor nurse health, and increased costs. This article reports the findings of a study that sought to identify characteristics of the job, work environment, and psychosocial health outcomes that may predict nurses’ intent to stay at their current nursing position within the next year. Utilizing a cross-sectional design, we electronically surveyed working nurses (n = 629) during the summer of 2020 across 36 states. Demographics, work characteristics, and validated measures of anxiety, insomnia, and depressive symptoms were assessed. Logistic regression models identified factors associated with nurses’ intent to stay at their jobs. Colleague support, organizational support, and organizational pandemic preparedness were associated with increased odds of intent to stay, while both mild and moderate/severe depressive symptoms were associated with decreased odds of intent to stay. Because over a quarter of nurses surveyed reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms, which were strongly associated with turnover intention, organizational leadership should examine mental health resources available to nurses and work characteristics that could be contributing to nurses’ poor psychosocial health. Additionally, further research is needed to assess the meaning of organizational support to nurses in a post-COVID-19 context, as well how to create a work environment in which nurses are able to provide support to their colleagues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberManuscript 3
JournalOnline Journal of Issues in Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2024


  • conceptual models
  • COVID-19
  • intent to stay
  • mental health
  • mixed methods design
  • nurses
  • Nursing
  • occupational health
  • turnover
  • turnover intention
  • work environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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