Compassion fatigue is a growing issue in the oncology nursing population that has implications on outcomes such as job satisfaction and intention to leave a job. With an increased need for nurses nationally, compassion fatigue needs to be further studied to identify solutions that support the retention of the oncology nursing workforce. The concept of empowerment has been favorable in leading to proactive workplace behaviors and attitudes. However, literature showed underrepresentation of this variable in relationship to compassion fatigue. A program of research in connection to these variables is provided. A comparative concept analysis on burnout and compassion fatigue is presented, followed by a review of literature regarding empowerment in oncology nursing. The review discusses how empowerment is defined and developed in oncology nurses and identifies gaps in nursing knowledge. A non-correlational study designed to examine the relationship between empowerment (structural and psychological), compassion fatigue, job satisfaction, and intention to leave job was conducted. Structural equation modeling was used for analysis of variables to identify total, direct, and indirect effects among a sample of 500 oncology nurses. Psychological empowerment was the strongest predictor of compassion fatigue in the structural equation model. Structural empowerment was the strongest predictor of job satisfaction. Job satisfaction demonstrated mediating effects on intention to leave job. Recommendations include the need for healthcare organizations to improve levels of structural and psychological empowerment in oncology nurses and identify ways for which oncology nurses may more readily view their work as impactful.

Date of publication

Summer 9-1-2020

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Danita Alfred, Barbara Haas, Eric Stocks


Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Available for download on Thursday, September 01, 2022

Included in

Nursing Commons