Organization of Work Factors Associated with Work Ability among Aging Nurses

Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, Milla Arabadjian, Eva Liang, Ali Sheikhzadeh, Shira Schecter Weiner, Victoria Vaughan Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The United States (U.S.) workforce is aging. There is a paucity of literature exploring aging nurses’ work ability. This study explored the work-related barriers and facilitators influencing work ability in older nurses. We conducted a qualitative descriptive study of aging nurses working in direct patient care (N = 17). Participants completed phone or in-person semi-structured interviews. We used a content analysis approach to analyzing the data. The overarching theme influencing the work ability of aging nurses was intrinsically motivated. This was tied to the desire to remain connected with patients at bedside. We identified factors at the individual, unit-based work level and the organizational level associated with work ability. Individual factors that were protective included teamwork, and feeling healthy and capable of doing their job. Unit-based level work factors included having a schedule that accommodated work-life balance, and one’s chronotype promoted work ability. Organizational factors included management that valued worker’s voice supported work ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-404
Number of pages8
JournalWestern Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • nursing workforce
  • occupational health
  • qualitative methods
  • work ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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