Work-Family Conflict Among Newly Licensed Registered Nurses: A Structural Equation Model of Antecedents and Outcomes

Unruh, Lynn Y.
Raffenaud, Amanda
Fottler, Myron
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Conflict between work and family is a human resource management issue that is particularly relevant for nurses. Nursing is a demanding profession, and a high proportion of nurses are women, who tend to have greater family responsibilities than men. Little is known regarding work-family conflict among nurses, and even less is known about how this affects newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs), who can be stressed from their new jobs and careers. This study empirically tests a model of antecedents and outcomes of work-family and family-work conflict among a sample of NLRNs. We developed a model of the relationships between personal and work environment characteristics, work-family and family-work conflicts, job satisfaction, and intent to leave the job and profession. We used structural equation modeling (Amos, IBM SPSS) to test the model with data from a survey of NLRNs. We examined a number of latent variables, as well as direct and mediating relationships. The measurement models for all latent variables were validated. The final model indicated that age, health, and family responsibilities are antecedents of family-work conflict; job demands lead to work-family conflict; family-work conflict contributes to job difficulties, which lowers job satisfaction, which, in turn, increases the intent to leave the job and profession; and work-family conflict increases the intent to leave the job and profession (but does not directly affect job satisfaction). Policies to help NLRNs with family responsibilities could reduce family-work conflict, which might reduce job difficulties and improve satisfaction and retention. In addition, policies to reduce job demands could reduce work-family conflict and improve retention.
Unruh, L. Y., Raffenaud, A., & Fottler, M. (2016). Work-family conflict among newly licensed registered nurses: A structural equation model of antecedents and outcomes. Journal of Healthcare Management, 61(2), 129-145.