Saturday, July 14, 2007
This presentation is part of : Promoting Good Work in Nursing: Global Perspectives on Nursing's Value in a Changing Health Care Environment
Active and Inactive Nurses Perception of Quality of Work life and Satisfaction with Nursing
Linda Roussel, RN, DSN, Community-Mental Health Nursing Department, University of South Alabama College of Nursing, Mobile, AL, USA and Kimberly A. Williams, DNSc, Community Mental Health Nursing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA.

Staff RNs and Nurse Managers in four hospitals participated in focus groups and interviews as part of research to share perceptions of nursing’s work, quality of work life and nurse satisfaction.  Participants included 36 nurses in RN staff and managerial positions.  Major themes included the nurses’ satisfaction described as making a difference in patients’ lives through teaching; crisis management and caring.  Additionally, job security and stability also emerged.  The majority of nurses expressed positive perspectives of “always having a job” with “decent pay,” particularly as an associate degree nurse. Quality of work life was described as generally positive related to competitive benefit packages.  Dissatisfaction was expressed with increasing workloads, high patient acuity levels, poor managerial support and long hours.  The majority of RNs described difficulty with being away from family, working week-ends and holidays and being required to remain on duty during crisis times (hurricanes).  RN staff nurses described frustration with long hours (12 hour shifts), however, also a satisfier given long stretches of time off.  Nurse Managers found retaining nurses as challenging and frustrating, describing that RN staff nurses after being trained, often left employment.  Staffing was a satisfier and dissatisfier of nurse managers with some of the same reasons described by RN Staff nurses.  Nurse Managers did not have nurse retention as part of performance evaluation. The majority of staff RNs and Nurse Managers would remain in nursing if accommodations could be made for aging including shorter shifts, lighter workloads and consideration of health problems. Recommending nursing to others was generally positively described with RN staff nurses and nurse managers sharing that they encouraged daughters, sons, nieces and nephews to consider nursing as a profession. In recommending nursing to others, the “right qualities” (caring, commitment, service) were important considerations.