A qualitative study of the work environment in obstetrical nursing in northeastern Ontario, Canada

Behdin Nowrouzi, Nancy Lightfoot, Lorraine Carter, Michel Larivière, Ellen Rukholm, Diane Belanger-Gardner


Background: Nurses work environment is inherent with stressors that impact their quality of work life (QWL). Moreover, there is a dearth of evidence examining occupational stressors and QWL in nurses working in northern and rural areas of Canada. Objective: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and understand the work environment of registered nurses working in obstetrics at four hospitals in northeastern Ontario, Canada.

Methods: This qualitative study used thematic analytic approach to describe the work environment of nurses as it pertained to their occupational stress and QWL. During the analysis, themes and subthemes emerged relating to their underlying factors that influenced the nurses’ work environment and QWL.

Results: Five key themes that emerged from the semi-structured qualitative interviews were: workplace stress, relationships with colleagues (in and out of the workplace), quality of work life of obstetrical nurses, changes in care delivery and model of care (cross-training) and limited resources in the workplace. The nurses discussed both the positive aspects and challenges of their work environment.

Conclusions: The study focuses the importance of understanding the work environment of nurses and its relationship to work stress, QWL and location of cross-training. Ameliorating nurses work environments is crucial to fostering better client care and bolstering recruitment and retention strategies, especially in rural and northern regions.


Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v5n7p10

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.