Job crafting in registered nurses working in public health: A qualitative study

Rebecca Harbridge, Lana Ivanitskaya, Gretchen Spreitzer, Veronique Boscart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objectives: Job crafting is proactively adjusting and redesigning one's own job to make it more meaningful. This is accomplished by changing the activities (task crafting), altering the way one thinks about the job (cognitive crafting), and using discretion about with whom one chooses to work (relational crafting). We examined self-reported behavioral manifestations of job crafting among Ontario registered nurses working in public health. Research design and methods: This qualitative, descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted with registered nurses (n = 238) from six randomly selected health regions in Ontario, Canada. Registered nurses completed surveys to provide quantitative ratings and qualitative reports of their job crafting behaviours. Data analyses included descriptive statistics and a content analysis of written comments to summarize common job crafting behaviours. Results: Registered nurses in public health are actively job crafting by emphasizing and initiating tasks that are based on strengths and passions. Examples included training students and new staff, participating in workgroups and committees, and being involved in projects. Nurses proactively modified the processes of the tasks to better meet client needs and improve quality of care. Job crafting facilitators and barriers included availability of opportunities, support from management, experience/level of skill of the nurse, limitations in the role, and heavy workload/insufficient staffing. The ability to continually modify tasks at the point of care, using evidenced-based approaches and utilizing education and professional development facilitated job crafting. Nurses reported that improving work meaningfulness was a driver of job crafting. Nurses also described a willingness to take on other tasks, being enriched by nurse-client and collegial relationships, and that their service to clients superseded their service to the organization. Discussion and implications: Public health registered nurses are actively involved in their own, bottom-up job redesign and managers are instrumental in facilitating or hindering the job crafting process. Managers can support nurses by allowing them to make changes on the job, providing professional development, managing workload and creating environments that support collegial relationships. Overall, the study contributes new knowledge about job crafting. It draws attention to the importance of registered nurses' involvement in designing their jobs. Lastly, managers and educators should promote and support job crafting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151556
JournalApplied Nursing Research
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Job characteristics
  • Job crafting
  • Public health
  • Registered nurses
  • Work environment
  • Work redesign


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