Nurses' experiences of working in organizations undergoing restructuring: A metasynthesis of qualitative research studies

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

BACKGROUND: Health care organizations worldwide undergo continual reconfiguration and structural changes in order to optimize the use of resources, reduce costs, and improve the quality of treatment.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to synthesize qualitative studies of how nurses experience working in organizations undergoing structural changes.

DESIGN: The review is designed as a metasynthesis and follows the guidelines put forth by Sandelowski and Barroso for synthesizing qualitative research.

DATA SOURCES: From January to April 2015, literature searches were conducted in the CINAHL, PubMed, ProQuest, and Web of Science databases for the period from 1994 to 2014.

REVIEW METHODS: A total of 762 articles were found and screened, 12 of which were included in the review after being appraised using a specially designed reading guide. The inclusion criteria were qualitative studies in English, German, Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish on nurses' experiences with being employed in organizations undergoing structural changes. The data were then analyzed in a metasummary and metasynthesis.

RESULTS: Four overall categories that illustrate how nurses experience working in organizations undergoing structural changes were identified: nursing management, emotional responses, nursing work, and colleagues. Generally, nurses seemed to describe their experiences working in organizations undergoing structural changes in a negative way, as all of the included articles reported that nurses experience an increased workload due to restructuring. However, some of the articles reported that nurses also experience a certain joy associated with the nursing work despite the negative consequences of the structural changes.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings can be seen as a paradox because former research has shown that an increased workload reduces the pleasure in working. Further research on this topic is needed to ensure a better working environment for nurses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, burn out, job satisfaction, nurse, qualitative metasynthesis, structural change, workload

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