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Keywords:

  • generation;
  • job satisfaction;
  • nurse;
  • nursing management;
  • survey;
  • work environment

Aim  To explore generational differences in job satisfaction.

Background  Effective retention strategies are required to mitigate the international nursing shortage. Job satisfaction, a strong and consistent predictor of retention, may differ across generations. Understanding job satisfaction generational differences may lead to increasing clarity about generation-specific retention approaches.

Method  The Ontario Nurse Survey collected data from 6541 Registered Nurses. Participants were categorized as Baby Boomer, Generation X or Generation Y based on birth year. Multivariate analysis of variance explored generational differences for overall and specific satisfaction components.

Results  In overall job satisfaction and five specific satisfaction components, Baby Boomers were significantly more satisfied than Generations X and Y.

Conclusion  It is imperative to improve job satisfaction for younger generations of nurses.

Implications for Nursing Management  Strategies to improve job satisfaction for younger generations of nurses may include creating a shared governance framework where nurses are empowered to make decisions. Implementing shared governance, through nurse-led unit-based councils, may lead to greater job satisfaction, particularly for younger nurses. Opportunities to self schedule or job share may be other potential approaches to increase job satisfaction, especially for younger generations of nurses. Another potential strategy would be to aggressively provide and support education and career-development opportunities.