Tools assessing nurse manager behaviours and RN job satisfaction: a review of the literature


  • Rebecca Feather PhD, RN, NE-BC

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Indiana University School of Nursing, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
    • Correspondence

      Rebecca Feather

      Indiana University School of Nursing

      Bloomington Campus

      Sycamore Hall

      Room 445, 1033 East Third Street


      IN 47405-7005



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To determine the state of the science in relation to registered nurse (RN) perceptions of nurse manager behaviours that influence registered nurse job satisfaction.


Nurse managers have been related by research to the job satisfaction of their staff. However, little is known about how nurses perceive the behaviours of nurse managers as influencing their job satisfaction.


A literature search was conducted to identify journal articles that included studies involving instruments of nurse manager behaviours and staff nurse job satisfaction levels.


The literature shows a lack of consistency in the definitions of job satisfaction, instrumentation for measurement and conclusions that identify specific management behaviours effective for high levels of job satisfaction of RNs related to staff nurse perceptions.


Studies include important aspects of what shapes a healthy work environment for nurses, but no single study identified specific nurse manager behaviours based solely on the perceptions of staff nurses and their job satisfaction.

Implications for nursing management

The perceptions of staff nurses are important for hospital administrators and nurse managers in order to know how to improve satisfaction and reduce turnover. Instruments developed based on manager beliefs may not provide data needed to influence a change in management behaviours that results in improved job satisfaction.