Aim: To study the simultaneous relationships of work pressure with the performance and well-being of nurses, and to explore whether mindfulness moderates these relationships.
Design: A cross-sectional survey design.
Method: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 1021 nurses from 103 Belgian elderly care homes, in 2017. Data was analysed using hierarchical multiple regression and simple slope analyses.
Results: Work pressure was positively associated with empathetic care, job performance and emotional exhaustion, and negatively associated with work engagement. Mindfulness was positively related to empathetic care, job performance, and work engagement, and negatively related to emotional exhaustion. Regarding the moderations, mindfulness moderated the relationships between work pressure and both performance outcomes, as well as between work pressure and work engagement. Contrary to what we expected: (1) mindfulness showed no significant buffering effect of work pressure on emotional exhaustion; (2) the relationship between work pressure and both empathic care and job performance was stronger when mindfulness was low (vs. high); and (3) mindfulness strengthened instead of weakened the negative relationship between work pressure and work engagement. However, in high work pressure settings, more mindful individuals still had better job performance and work engagement outcomes than less mindful individuals.
Conclusion: Our findings explain conflicting outcomes on the effects of work pressure by suggesting that work pressure can function both as a hindrance and a challenge job demand depending on the outcome. Furthermore, by exploring the role of mindfulness as a personal resource, we add to the literature on the role of personal resources in the JD-R-model which is particularly relevant in the context of increasing work pressure.
Impact: Nurses are confronted with increasing work pressure. The present findings indicate that the implementation of mindfulness strategies can be beneficial for nurses dealing with work pressure, contributing to nursing practice and JD-R theory