Job Satisfaction Among Hospital Nurses: Facility Size and Location Comparisons

Authors

  • Raymond T. Coward MSW, PhD,

    1. Coward is professor of medicine, director of the Center on Rural Health and Aging, and associate director of the Institute for Health Policy Research at the University of Florida. Coward is the recipient of a 1991 President's Award from the National Rural Health Association and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of that organization. He is the former editor of The Journal of Rural Health and currently serves on the editorial boards of The Gerontologist and The Journal of Applied Gerontology. In 1991, Coward received a distinguished alumni award from Purdue University.
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  • Claydell Horne RN, PhD,

    1. Horne is an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and an assistant research scientist in the Institute for Health Policy Research at the University of Florida. She is a nurse educator with a special interest in the area of adult health nursing. She serves as a consultant to the Florida Nursing Students'Association and has been awarded a lifetime membership to that organization for her service. Her current research interests include family caregiving and rural health nursing.
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  • R. Paul Duncan PhD,

    1. Duncan is a professor in the Department of Health Services Administration and a research professor in the Institute for Health Policy Research at the University of Florida. He is currently the co-principal investigator of an NIH-funded longitudinal study of race and residence variations in oral health behaviors and dental health services utilization. In addition, he is directing a study of rural-urban differences in nursing home admissions patterns as part of the University of Florida Center on Rural Health and Aging funded by the National Institute on Aging.
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  • Jeffrey W. Dwyer PhD

    1. Dwyer is an associate professor in the Department of Health Services Administration and an associate research scientist in the Institute for Health Policy Research at the University of Florida. He was recently named a 1992 Brookdale National Fellow, This award will allow him to continue his research or1 the patterns of long-term care among elders. In addition, he is directing a study of residential differences in the longitudinal evolution of health status as part of the University of Florida Center on Rural Health and Aging funded by the National Institute on Aging.
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ABSTRACT

Despite recent declines in turnover and vacancy rates, maintaining a stable nursing staff continues to be critical to the effective operation of American hospitals, fob satisfaction is a pivotal element in nurse retention, and organizational theory suggests that some of the factors that influence job satisfaction vary by facility size. This is a study of job satisfaction among a sample of 731 nurses providing direct patient care in 22 hospitals. The sample includes approximately equal numbers of nurses employed in very small rural hospitals (1-49 beds), medium sized facilities located in small towns (50-99 beds), and larger metropolitan institutions (>100 beds). Differences by hospital size were observed in overall job satisfaction and in five sub-dimensions of that concept (i.e., professional status, task requirements, pay, organizational policies, and autonomy). With the exception of pay, the results indicated that nurses employed in the very small rural hospitals were more satisfied with their jobs. Differences by hospital size were also observed in the personal characteristics of the nurses, several specific aspects of their job, and in their perceptions of job mobility. A set of four hierarchically nested ordinary least squares regression models indicated that job-specific characteristics were the most powerful predictors of job satisfaction.

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