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Keywords:

  • autonomy;
  • job satisfaction;
  • professional status;
  • public health nurses;
  • quantitative descriptive design

Background

Despite increasing interest in nurses' job satisfaction relatively few studies have investigated job satisfaction among public health nurses.

Aim

To establish current level of job satisfaction among public health nurses and identify the main contributing variables/factors to job satisfaction among this population.

Design

Quantitative descriptive design. A simple random sample of 1000 public health nurses was conducted yielding a response rate of 35.1% (n = 351). Data was collected using the Index of Work Satisfaction Questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were deployed.

Results

Low levels of job satisfaction among public health nurses emerged. Professional status, interaction and autonomy contributed most to job satisfaction while pay and task-related activities contributed least. Age and tenure were the only biographic factors that correlated significantly with job satisfaction.

Conclusion

Public health nurse managers/leaders need to find creative ways of improving the factors that contribute to job satisfaction and address robustly those factors that result in low job satisfaction.

Implications for nursing management

The critical issue for public health nurse managers is to determine how job satisfaction can be improved. Greater collaboration and consultation between managers and public health nurses can be regarded as a useful way to begin this process, especially if contemporary nursing is to embrace a responsive approach within the profession.