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Role stress and job satisfaction for nurse specialists


Yao-Mei Chen: e-mail:


Title. Role stress and job satisfaction for nurse specialists

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to illustrate the unique relationship between role stress and job satisfaction and provide recommendations for advanced nursing practice in Taiwan.

Background.  International literature has shown that work role-related stress experienced by staff nurses predicts role strain, which in turn influences job satisfaction and intention to leave the job. In this study, the direct relationship between role stress and job satisfaction of nurse specialists was examined after controlling for personality trait and personal characteristics.

Method.  In 2004 a convenience sample of 129 nurse specialists from five acute care teaching hospitals in Taiwan participated. They completed a questionnaire (response rate 81%) focusing on personal characteristics, the Five Factor Model of personality traits, role stress (i.e. ambiguity, conflict, overload, incompetence) and job satisfaction (i.e. professionalism, interaction, demand/reward, control/recognition). Data were analysed using hierarchical regression models.

Results.  After controlling for personality traits and personal characteristics, role stress variables predicted 24·8% of the variance in job satisfaction. Role ambiguity (P < 0·001) and role overload (P < 0·01) were the best predictors, but role conflict was not statistically significant. Role stress explained statistically significant proportions of the variance for each component of job satisfaction: professionalism (10·6%), interaction (16·7%), demand/reward (27·1%) and control/recognition (18·5%). Role ambiguity predicted all four satisfaction components, role overload predicted demand/reward and role incompetence predicted interaction.

Conclusion.  Organizational restructuring and administrative support are recommended to address the issues raised. Appropriate training, sufficient communications and supportive legislation are required. Future research should be conducted to evaluate the impact of these interventions.