n Health SA Gesondheid - The prevalence of resilience in a group of professional nurses : original research




The literature and practice show that many professional nurses feel emotionally overloaded and are experiencing job dissatisfaction, which often results in them leaving the profession. Paradoxically, some nurses choose to remain in nursing and survive, cope and even thrive despite their unique workplace adversities. It is, however, not known what the prevalence of resilience amongst nurses is, and what influence working in private versus public contexts has on this resilience. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of resilience in a group of professional nurses, to determine whether private versus public contexts played a role in nurses' resilience, and to obtain an indication of participants' views of their profession and resilience therein. A cross-sectional survey design was used where professional nurses (N = 312) working in public and private hospitals in South Africa voluntarily completed measures of psycho-social well-being as indicators of their degree of resilience. They also answered three open-ended questions on their profession. Results showed moderate-to-high correlations amongst scales, indicating conceptual coherence as indicators of resilience. Prevalence of resilience was determined by normalising the mean scores of the measuring instruments. The total value of the normalised mean scores was given as a fraction (0-1), representing a level of resilience manifested by the participants across all scales. This indicated three levels of resilience: 10% of participants manifested low resilience, 47% moderate resilience and 43% high resilience. Nurses in private health care had significantly (small practical effect) higher levels of resilience than nurses in public health care.


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