Sirpa Koponen Monika E. von Bonsdorff Hely Innanen


The ageing of the population is particularly challenging for the healthcare sector, which is at the same time facing a nursing shortage. Therefore, improving work conditions and well-being at work in order to prolong nurses’ careers and retention in their profession until retirement age has become one of the key issues of healthcare leaders and policymakers. This study tested a structural model linking nurses’ perceived leadership styles and early retirement intentions. We tested the model in a sample of 343 nurses at one Finnish university hospital. It was hypothesized that the relationship between perceived leadership styles and early retirement intentions would be mediated by job satisfaction. We found that age, work ability, job control and reward satisfaction were directly associated with early retirement intentions. Furthermore, perceived employee-oriented and task-oriented leadership, organizational justice and work ability were related to job satisfaction, which in turn was related to early retirement intentions. In conclusion, the results indicated that job satisfaction acted as a mediator in the relationship between leadership styles, organizational justice, work ability and early retirement intentions. The findings have important implications for research and healthcare practitioners in promoting nurses’ well-being at work and retaining them for a longer period in the nursing profession.