The lack of autonomy is a particularly important risk factor for the work well-being of nurses, especially after the reform that from the mid-90s has profoundly changed their professional profile. The goal of this research is to study the relationship between job autonomy and wellbeing of nurses, that are considered as an heterogeneous category on the base of workplace (wards) and type of training received (training course). The data obtained through a questionnaire administered to 69 nurses confirmed the moderating effect of both variables. Autonomy predict well-being only in the geriatricrehabilitation ward and mainly for nurses of professional training course. The results, that confirm the necessity to consider nurses as an heterogeneous category, are discussed concerning the different meaning that autonomy has in different wards and the different value that nurses with particular personal characteristics can attribute to it. These differences are fundamental in order to plan targeted interventions to reduce risk of workrelated stress.
Keywords: Nurses, process of professionalization, job autonomy, affective well-being, moderation analysis, work related stress