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This paper reports the results of the first of three annual surveys of the job satisfaction of health visitors, district nurses and practice nurses working in communities served by four trusts Analysis of variance illustrates differences in the level of Personal Satisfaction, Satisfaction with Workload, Satisfaction with Professional Support, Satisfaction with Training and Satisfaction with Pay and Prospects Practice nurses appear to be the most satisfied group, the level of satisfaction for health visitors is significantly lower Qualitative analysis of the additional comments made by approximately one-third of respondents illustrates the gulf in perceived values between staff and management and the feelings of uncertainty experienced by community nurses in the wake of major legislative change Possible reasons for differences in level of staff satisfaction between the four trusts are discussed