ABSTRACT Objectives: This study was undertaken to test the applicability of using a standardized questionnaire for measuring public health nurse (PHN) job satisfaction and to determine whether or not scores changed over 30 months. The importance of establishing a method for ongoing measurement of PHN job satisfaction was underscored by changing directions in practice and an emphasis on building public health capacity.
Method: A 30-month interval, repeated measures descriptive survey design was used.
Sample: A randomly selected sample of 87 PHNs employed within 1 Canadian regional health authority participated.
Measurement: The survey questionnaire, the Index of Worklife Satisfaction, was designed to measure the importance of and satisfaction with 6 components of job satisfaction.
Results: Pay and autonomy were the most important components; the order of the 4 remaining components changed from first to second surveys. Professional status, autonomy, and interaction were the most satisfying components; PHN satisfaction with professional status and interaction improved significantly over 30 months. A majority of subjects reported that direct client care/client response/making a difference were worklife aspects providing them with most satisfaction.
Conclusions: A valid, reliable questionnaire suitable for ongoing measurement was tested with PHNs, and baseline levels of their job satisfaction were established.