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Job Dissatisfaction and Nursing

One of the many factors impinging on the practice of nursing in the 1990s is the growing level of job dissatisfaction among nurses (Blegen, 1993, pp. 36-41). As nurses become dissatisfied, they tend to leave the profession, thereby adversely affecting the quality of health care delivered by nurses. Another important factor affecting the practice of nursing in the 1990s is the demand for a greater movement toward patient-focused care (Brider, 1992, pp. 26-33). Placing a greater emphasis on patient-focused care, however, is difficult if not impossible for nurses who are typically required to devote nearly two-thirds of their institutional hours to administrative and housekeeping duties.

Some research has suggested that a relationship may exist between nursing job satisfaction/dissatisfaction and work orientation--task-centered versus patient-centered (Tumulty, Jernigan, and Kohut, 1994, pp. 84-90). While considerable research has been performed to investigate job satisfaction among nurses, the specific effect on job satisfaction of task-centered and patient-centered work orientations has not been reported in the literature.

Literature is reviewed in relation to the concept and measurement of job satisfaction. Literature is also reviewed that deals more specifically with job satisfaction among practicing nurses.

Job Satisfaction: Concept and Measurement

Edwin Locke (1983, p. 1300) defined job satisfaction as "a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experiences." Job satisfaction, however, is a complex factor, and the level of job satisfaction among a group of individuals is the product of the interaction of a variety of other factors (Maidani, 1991, pp. 441-448). Job satisfaction has been linked to the degree of autonomy employees feel that they have in the performance of their duties, and, in this context, job satisfaction has been defined as the extent to which one p...

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