• practice environment;
  • nurse-physician communication;
  • nursing job satisfaction

Purpose: To investigate direct and indirect relationships among the practice environment, nurse-physician (RN-MD) communication, and job satisfaction, as is posited in the nursing role effectiveness model (NREM).

Design: Survey.

Methods: Surveys were sent to a random sample of 500 hospital nurses throughout Michigan, and 332 (66%) responded. Main study instruments were the Conditions for Work Effectiveness Questionnaire-II (CWEQ-II), the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PES-NWI), the ICU Nurse-Physician Questionnaire, and the Index of Work Satisfaction (IWS), Part B. Inferential statistical tests included multiple regression, t tests, and one-way analysis of variance.

Findings: Practice environment (PES-NWI) and empowerment (CWEQ-II) scales explained 20% of the variance in RN-MD communication. The combination of both environment scales (PES-NWI and CWEQ-II) and RN-MD communication explained 61% of the variance in nursing job satisfaction scores. RN-MD communication was also a significant mediating variable in the relationship between structure (practice environment and empowerment scales) and outcome (nursing job satisfaction).

Conclusions: Factors in the practice environment contributed both directly to nursing job satisfaction and also indirectly through RN-MD communication. Study findings showed that a practice environment favorable to nurses improved both nurses' perceptions of their communications with physicians and their job satisfaction.