A content analysis of staff nurse descriptions of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction

Authors

  • Donna K. McNeese-Smith MN EdD CNAA

    1. Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Nursing Administration Graduate Program, School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Dr D.K. McNeese-Smith, Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Nursing Administration Graduate Program, School of Nursing 3-264 Factor Building, University of California, Los Angeles, Box 956917, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6917. E-mail: DMcNeese@Sonnet.UCLA.EDU

Abstract

A content analysis of staff nurse descriptions of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction

Job satisfaction of nurses has been studied, using quantitative methodology, but hospital staff nurse descriptions of the source of their job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction have rarely been examined. This study collected information from 30 staff nurses through semistructured, taped interviews. Using content analysis, interviews were coded and categories and themes were identified. Findings indicate that job satisfaction was derived from the following categories: patient care, environment, balanced workload, relations with coworkers, personal factors, salary and benefits, professionalism, cultural background of the nurse and career stage of the nurse. Themes related to patient care, the pace and variety in an acute care environment, relationships with coworkers and meeting personal and family needs were cited as particularly relevant to job satisfaction. Job dissatisfaction was primarily influenced by patient care, factors that interfere with the job and patient care, feeling overloaded, relations with coworkers, personal factors, organizational factors and the career stage of the nurse. Themes related to the following categories have the greatest influence on job dissatisfaction: feeling overloaded, factors that interfere with patient care, coworkers who do not provide good care and situations that feel unfair. The actual words of nurses were included to provide depth and substance to the categories and themes. A discussion was presented of the relationship of these findings to theory and to outcomes of quantitative research. These findings have implications for nursing practice, administration and education as the profession considers organizational and individual factors influencing nurses’ feelings about their job and prepares for future nursing shortages.

Ancillary