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Background: There is growing concern that the quality of home and work life is deteriorating and this has resulted in poor employee input and performance at home and work. Female nurses as working women are faced with multiple roles; work and family/personal roles and majority of these women encounter stress while trying to balance their work and family life. The aim of this study was to assess work-life balance and associated factors among female nurses in private hospitals in Port-Harcourt Metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria.
Methodology: A mixed method was used. For quantitative data a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire was used to select 200 respondents using a multi-stage sampling technique. While qualitative data was collected through in-depth interviews from 12 respondents using the phenomenological approach to collect data. Internal consistency was measured using Cronbachs alpha for 23-item in check-list manual for work-life balance with an alpha of 0.686 (95% CI: 0.619 - 0.746).
Results: The mean age of respondents was 32.17 ± 5.83 years. Poor work-life balance was identified in 108 (54%) of the respondents. Socio-demographic characteristics were not significant with work-life balance. However, work related factors like work stress (0.001), work long hours (0.001), poor remuneration (0.001), unsatisfying job (0.001), and family/personal related factors like spending less time with family (0.001), always feeling tired after work (0.001) and lack of time to recreate and relax (0.003) were found to be significantly associated with work-life balance (p value <0.005). Coping strategies adopted to achieve work-life balance included personal support, family support and organizational support. Findings from the qualitative study showed that long working hours, work overload, work shift (night shift) and lack of time (family, leisure, etc.) are factors contributing to work-life imbalance among nurses.
Conclusion: Female nurses in private hospitals in Port-Harcourt Metropolis had a poor work-life balance predominantly due to stressful work and long working hours resulting in tiredness after work and inadequate time for family and recreation as well as poor remuneration. There is therefore the need for operators of private hospitals to adopt worker friendly working conditions by particularly employing more staff, paying better salaries, paid annual, maternal and sick leave for staff.