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Keywords:

  • choice of work location;
  • job satisfaction;
  • nursing grade;
  • psychiatric nursing;
  • work environment;
  • work location

In recent years, mental health services across Europe have undergone major organizational change with a move from institutional to community care. In such a context, the impact of change on the job satisfaction of psychiatric nurses has received little attention in the literature. This paper reports on the job satisfaction of psychiatric nurses and data were collected in 2003. The population of qualified psychiatric nurses (n = 800) working in a defined geographical health board area was surveyed. Methodological triangulation with a between-methods approach was used in the study. Data were collected on job satisfaction using a questionnaire adopted from the Occupational Stress Indicator. A response rate of 346 (43%) was obtained. Focus groups were used to collect qualitative data. Factors influencing levels of job satisfaction predominantly related to the nurses work location. Other factors influencing job satisfaction included choice of work location, work routine, off duty/staff allocation arrangements, teamwork and working environment. The results of the study highlight to employers of psychiatric nurses the importance of work location, including the value of facilitating staff with choices in their working environment, which may influence the recruitment and retention of nurses in mental health services.