- Category: Work
- Published: January 25, 2014
- Written by Jennifer Winget
According to projections by the US Department of Health and Human Resources, the shortage of registered nurses (RNs) in the country will grow from 12 percent in 2010 to 29 percent in 2020.
A study by Larrabee et al (Journal of Nursing Administration, 2003) states that minimizing “turnover” (nurses leaving the profession) is a priority for healthcare executives in the face of the shortage of RNs, and that job dissatisfaction is the primary reason for the rising rates of turnover. Turnover rates more than doubled to a whopping 26.2% from 1996 to 2000 alone, accompanied by a 20% decline in nursing school graduations and the lowest unemployment rate in a decade. So what are the factors affecting job satisfaction of RNs?
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2007), the working conditions of RNs are the primary factor affecting job satisfaction. This was divided into two types of variables: work setting and demographic. Each variable found to have a significant relationship to satisfy are as follows:
- Work Setting Variables
- Career Orientation –Career-oriented RNs were more satisfied than those who were not as career-oriented
- Supervisory Support – RNs who felt supported and encouraged by their supervisors were more satisfied than those who did not believe their supervisors were supportive
- Work Group Cohesion – RNs who perceived their environment as more cohesive and a place where they could have friends were more satisfied than those who did not have this perception
- Distributive Justice – RNs who felt fairly rewarded for their work were more satisfied than those who did not feel this way
- Organizational Constraints – RNs who felt that organizational characteristics of their work setting did not interfere with their work were more satisfied than RNs who perceived their work setting as interfering
- Work-to-family conflict – RNs who felt that their job did not conflict with their family life were more satisfied than those who perceived that their job conflicted with family life
- Quantitative workload – RNs who reported having lighter workloads were more satisfied than those who reported having heavy workloads.
- Health status – RNs who reported being in very good health were more satisfied than those who reported being in bad health
- Race – Among RNs, white respondents reported being more satisfied than those who identified themselves as black
- Basic nursing program in the US – RNs who were educated in the United States reported being more satisfied than those educated outside the US
Ellie Williams and Suzanne Robin, both of Demand Media (and the latter also an RN), point to other additional factors affecting the job satisfaction rates of RNs.
In a person-centered calling like nursing, it is easy to understand that the professional’s satisfaction is closely linked to the client’s own satisfaction. While this is determined by the quality of care provided by the team of healthcare professionals, including the RNs, external factors such as the availability of equipment and the training of support staff can also affect patient satisfaction.
The geographical setting of an RN’s workplace can be a less obvious factor affecting job satisfaction. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top paying areas for RNs are all in California, which is around $43.68 per hour at the time of this writing. The physical setting also plays a major role. As mentioned earlier, the lack of proper equipment and trained support staff can negatively affect both patient and RN satisfaction rates. Perhaps another of the more overlooked factors, the educational attainment of an RN can influence almost every other factor mentioned here. Getting really high scores in licensure examinations, such as by taking Teaching Solutions NCLEX practice modules, can go a long way in determining an RN’s chance to work in a facility with ideal working conditions and settings, higher patient satisfaction, and higher pay. As with any other field, sound credentials can clear the way towards a highly satisfying career.
About the Author
Carla Parker, a writer who can write about anything from History to Science Theories. She likes to write about education industry, In fact, she has written about these and many more topics for the past five years. Books and articles are his main forte, she also writes poetry.