Work and personal well-being of nurses in Queensland: does rurality make a difference?

Desley Hegney, Robert Eley, Rebecca Osseiran-Moisson, Karen Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study aims to ascertain if differences exist in the perception of the professional practice environment and personal well‐being of nurses across different geographical areas in Queensland.
Design : This paper was performed on a prospective, self‐report cross‐sectional on‐line survey.
Setting: The study was conducted among the nurses employed in public and private health care settings: acute hospitals, community health and aged care in Queensland, Australia.
Participants: Participants of this study were 1608 registered and enrolled nurses and assistants in nursing, current members of the Queensland Nurses Union in 2013 and who provided a workplace postcode. One thousand eight of these participants worked in major cities, while 382 in rural locations and 238 in remote areas.
Interventions: None.
Main outcome measures: Scores of well‐being as determined by the following scales: the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, the Professional Quality of Life Scale version 5, the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale and of the Professional Practice Environment using the Practice Environment Scale – Nursing Work Index Revised.
Results: Nurses employed in major cities perceived ‘nursing foundations for quality care’ more favourably than those from other settings. Remote area nurses had lower levels of secondary traumatic stress than nurses in major cities and rural areas. There was no difference between nurses across their geographical locations for stress, anxiety, depression, compassion satisfaction, burnout, resilience and the four other measures of the Practice Environment Scale.
Conclusions: The study findings provide new data suggesting that, with the exception of secondary traumatic stress, the personal well‐being of nurses does not differ across geographical settings. Similarly, with the exception of the subscale of ‘nursing foundations for quality care’ there was no difference in perceptions of the professional practice environment. As secondary traumatic stress is associated with burnout, this finding needs to be investigated further.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


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