Objectives The aim of this study was to determine: 1) if quality of work life (QWL), location of cross-training, stress variables, and various demographic factors in nurses are associated with work ability, and 2) nursing occupational stress, QWL, and various associated factors are related with nurses’ work ability.
Method This cross sectional study was conducted in 2012 in four hospitals in northeastern Ontario, Canada. A stratified random sample of registered nurses (n = 111) were selected.
Results The majority of participants were female (94.6%) ranging in age from 24 to 64 years (M= 41.9, s.d.=10.2). For the stress and QWL model, one variable: QWL (home-work support) (p = 0.015), cross-trained nurses (p = 0.048), and having more than 4 patients per shift (p = 0.024) significantly contributed to the variance in work ability scores. In the logistic regression model, the odds of a higher work ability for nurses who received home-work support were estimated to be 1.32 (95% CI, 1.06 to 1.66) times the odds of a higher work ability for nurses who did not receive home-work support.
Conclusions Work ability in the work environment of obstetrical nursing is important. To be high functioning, workplaces should maximise the use of their employees’ actual and potential skills.
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