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.