• job satisfaction;
  • nurse manager;
  • systematic review

Aim  The purpose of this study was to systematically review the research literature that examined the determinants of front line nurse managers’ job satisfaction.

Background  Front line managers are the vital link between senior management and clinical nurses. They influence organizational culture and outcomes for patients and staff so their job satisfaction and ultimately retention is of importance.

Evaluations  A review of research articles that examined the determinants of front line nurse managers’ job satisfaction was conducted. These managers supervise staff nurses and have direct responsibility for the management of a nursing unit or team in any type of healthcare facility. Fourteen studies were included in the final analysis.

Key issues  Evidence of significant positive relationships were found between span of control, organizational support, empowerment and the job satisfaction of front line nurse managers.

Conclusion  The review suggests that job satisfaction of front line managers may be improved by addressing span of control and workload, increasing organizational support from supervisors and empowering managers to participate in decision-making.

Implications for Nursing Management  Healthcare organizations may enhance the recruitment, retention and sustainability of future nursing leadership by addressing the factors that influence job satisfaction of front line managers.