gms | German Medical Science

First Joint Conference of the German Society of Nursing Science (DGP) and the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft e. V.

08.07.2021, online

Novice nurses’ occupational commitment – did the COVID-19 outbreak make a difference?

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Sanna Koskinen - Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  • Eimear Burke - National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
  • Pilar Fuster - Department of Nursing, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya Barcelona, Sant Cugat del Vallés, Spain
  • Leena Salminen - University of Turku, Turku, Finland; Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
  • Juliane Stubner - Institute of Health and Nursing Science, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany
  • Herdís Sveinsdóttir - Faculty of Nursing, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Marija Truš - Department of Nursing, Klaipeda University, Klaipėda, Lithuania
  • Helena Leino-Kilpi - University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft e.V. (DGP). First Joint Conference of the German Society of Nursing Science (DGP) and the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS). sine loco [digital], 08.-08.07.2021. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2021. Doc21dgp23

doi: 10.3205/21dgp23, urn:nbn:de:0183-21dgp235

Published: July 5, 2021

© 2021 Koskinen et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Background: Novice nurses' commitment has been investigated increasingly [1], and right now, COVID-19 pandemic tests the commitment [2].

Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore whether there was a difference in the nurses’ occupational commitment before the COVID-19 outbreak and during it.

Design and methods: The data for this study emerged from the follow-up survey of ProCompNurse project targeted to the nurses graduated year ago in Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania and Spain. The sample for this study was 360 nurses. The sample “before COVID-19” (n=215, 60%) responded before the 31st of January 2020 and the sample “during COVID-19” (n=145, 40%) in February-May 2020. The data were collected by the Occupational Commitment Scale [3] comprising 24 items (four-point scale, 1=strongly disagree-4=strongly agree).

Results: As for the total sample, over three quarters of nurses worked either in acute care units or in hospital wards and about quarter in community care. One-third had planned fairly or very often to change nursing into another profession. The overall occupational commitment mean scores of the total sample and both groups were average. The mean score in the “before COVID-19” group and in “during COVID-19” group was about the same; difference was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: The findings of this explorative study suggest that the COVID-19 outbreak possibly had no immediate consequences to the occupational commitment of the novice nurses. Understandably, the situation today can be totally different due to the prolonged pandemic and overstressing circumstances.

Conflict of interest: Authors declare no conflict of interests.

Funding: The ProCompNurse research project, and this as a sub-study of the project, is funded by the Academy of Finland (Decision 28.4.2017; no. 310145 for the period 9/2017–8/2021).


ten Hoeve Y, Brouwer J, Kunnen S. Turnover prevention: The direct and indirect association between organizational job stressors, negative emotions and professional commitment in novice nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2020;76(3): 836-845.
Fernandez R, Lord H, Halcomb E, Moxham L, Middleton R, Alananzeh I, Ellwood L. Implications for COVID-19: A systematic review of nurses' experiences of working in acute care hospital settings during a respiratory pandemic. Int J Nurs Stud. 2020 Nov;111:103637. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103637 External link
Blau G. Testing for a four dimensional structure of occupational commitment. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. 2003;76(4):469-488.