Causal Model of Work Engagement among Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses Working in Long-Term Care Contexts in Japan
The objective of this study was to determine a causal process underlying work engagement, in which individual resources (i.e., resilience) and job resources influence work performance, mediated by work engagement in different types of nurses working in long-term care contexts. We investigated a work engagement causal model in which individual and job resources were set as antecedent factors, work engagement as a mediating factor, and work performance as the outcome, to clarify differences between registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) working in long-term care contexts. We conducted a questionnaire-based survey with 1,786 Japanese nurses working in long-term care contexts in the Tohoku region. Using 1,269 respondents, we examined the causal model using structural equation modeling (SEM) and multiple population analysis to compare between RNs and LPNs. The results revealed a process whereby individual and job resources influenced work performance, mediated by work engagement, in RNs. In other words, greater individual and job resources enhance pride in work and positive emotion (i.e., work engagement), and greater positive emotion improves work performance. This process was not equivalent in LPNs. In LPNs, the most significant factor affecting work performance was the direct effect of job resources; moreover, the mediating effect of work engagement was not supported. The results demonstrated that in order to improve performance among LPNs working in long-term care contexts, it is important to provide job resource support, as well as to facilitate positive emotion through pride in one’s work.