Background: Currently, nurse researchers have yet to clearly understand all of the factors related to registered nurse job satisfaction. Ruggiero (2005) posits that 62-67% of the variance in RN job satisfaction remains unexplained in nursing literature. Nurse characteristics, generation, psychological empowerment, and quality of work life have been found to impact RN job satisfaction. The literature lacks a comprehensive conceptual framework, which theoretically links each of these influential factors to RN job satisfaction.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relative influence of nurses’ characteristics, psychological empowerment, generation, and quality of work life on RN job satisfaction. Another purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among the concepts in the Theoretical Model of Nurse Outcomes. The Theoretical Model of Nurse Outcomes was developed to guide this dissertation using the inductive and deductive theory synthesis process described by Walker and Avant (2005). The specific research questions were:
1) What relationships exist among the concepts of nurse characteristics, psychological empowerment, generation, quality of work life, and RN job satisfaction and 2) Are nurse characteristics, psychological empowerment, generation, and quality of work life predictors of RN job satisfaction?
Methods: This predictive, non-experimental study was conducted using anonymous web-based survey. The statistical package for Social Sciences (SPSS)/Predictive Analytics Software (PASW) Package 18 was used for the analysis in this study. Correlations, Chi-square test for independence, t-test, ANOVA, and General linear modeling (GLM) procedures were used in this study.
Findings: The sample included 223 RNs currently practicing in the United States. The average age of the nurses in this sample was 37 years and the average total years of experience as a RN was 9 years. The majority of the nurses in the sample were female (91%), Caucasian (89.2%), married (56%), lived in the south (58%), worked full time (56%), and had a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree (51.1%). Quality of work life and age were related to RN job satisfaction. Psychological empowerment, a predictor of RN job satisfaction, was related to nurses’ age, experience, quality of work life, and RN job satisfaction. Quality of work life, psychological empowerment, years in current position, and generation were significant predictors of RN job satisfaction explaining 63.7% of the variance in RN job satisfaction.
Discussion: The findings of this study support the proposed relationships among the concepts in the Theoretical Model of Nurse Outcomes, offering a framework for future research including interventional studies about enhancing RN job satisfaction. In a profession in which nurses’ job performance is directly influenced by their perceptions, understanding the factors that predict perceived job satisfaction is necessary to create environments that support nurses.