Background: Little is known, whether physical workload and musculoskeletal complaints (MSCs) have an impact on the intended or actual dropout of nursing students in the later years of their degree program.
Purpose: Studying the determinants of intention to leave and actual dropout from nursing education. We hypothesized that physical workload and MSCs are positively associated with these outcomes.
Methods: A prospective cohort study among 711 third-year students at a Dutch Bachelor of Nursing degree program. Multivariable backward binary logistic regression was used to examine the association between physical work factors and MSCs, and intention to leave or actual dropout.
Results: Intention to leave was 39.9% and actual dropout 3.4%. Of the nursing students, 79% had regular MSCs. The multivariable model for intention to leave showed a significant association with male sex, working at a screen, physical activity, decision latitude, co-worker support, distress and need for recovery. The multivariable model for dropout showed a significant association with living situation (not living with parents), male sex, sick leave during academic year and decision latitude.
Conclusions: Our research shows that the prevalence of MSCs among nursing students is surprisingly high, but is not associated with intention to leave nor with actual dropout.

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Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek,
Journal of Professional Nursing
Department of General Practice

Kox, J., Runhaar, J., Groenewoud, H., Bierma-Zeinstra, S., Bakker, E., Miedema, H., & Roelofs, P. (2022). Do physical work factors and musculoskeletal complaints contribute to the intention to leave or actual dropout in student nurses?. Journal of Professional Nursing, 39, 26–33. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2021.12.010