Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Charles Scherbaum

Committee Members

Harold Goldstein

Julie Dinh

Seymour Adler

Wei Wang

Subject Categories

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


nurse engagement, personality, work engagement, job demands-resource model, personal resources, job resources


In today’s VUCA (Volatile, Complex, Uncertain, and Ambiguous) world, the more we understand about how individual differences interact with the work environment to impact employee engagement the greater our chances are of making changes to lead to positive work outcomes regardless of the profession. There is no profession better suited for this type of investigation than that of nursing. Previous research has shown that more highly engaged nurses are able to provide better care and thus increase the chances of a more favorable outcome. There are many factors that can impact work engagement and one accepted model that helps to provide a framework for understanding it is the Job Demands-Resource model (JD-R; Bakker & Demerouti, 2007; 2008). Specifically, the JD-R model provides a theoretical framework to help examine how personal and job resources interact with the demands of the job to lead to outcomes such as employee engagement. To continue to advance the literature, one personal resources (i.e., personality) as well as several job resources (e.g., amount of teamwork and degree of autonomy) and job demands (structure of work tasks and emotional labor required to do the job) are associated with work engagement (Penney, David & Witt, 2011; Tett & Burnett, 2003)

In order to better understand these factors, a field study was conducted with registered nurses (RNs) and assistant nurse managers (ANMs) across multiple hospitals belonging to a large healthcare system in the Northeastern United States. The study measured variables at 2-levels and conducted multilevel analysis where applicable. Small sample sizes, likely due to RN and ANM burnout from the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in only one statistically significant finding. Higher levels of cooperativeness, an aspect of agreeableness from the Five Factor Model (FFM; Rossier, Meyer de Stadelhofen, & Berthoud, 2004), were related to higher levels of employee engagement. Since statistically significant results were not found, the answers to the questions posed in this paper still need to be answered. Further exploration of this topic is needed to fill a void in the existing literature. Future research should focus on further understanding how the JD-R model applies to nurses in different specialties and hospital types. Research should be focused on better understanding the facets of personality that predict the best fit and engagement in nursing specialties to then be used to better select and develop nurses.