Changes in Nurse Satisfaction in California, 2004 to 2008


Joanne Spetz, Carolina Herrera

Jul 2010

AIM: To examine whether there were improvements in the satisfaction of hospital-employed registered nurses (RNs) in the mid-2000s.

BACKGROUND: In recent years, many hospitals have made efforts to improve workplace characteristics, in order to improve nurse satisfaction and retention. There has also been legislative activity to regulate workplace practices that are associated with satisfaction and turnover.

METHODS: Data from surveys conducted by the California Board of Registered Nursing from 2004, 2006 and 2008 were analysed for hospital-employed registered nurses. Satisfaction is measured with 30 items on a five-point Likert Scale. Data were analysed using t-tests and logistic regression.

RESULTS: Average nurse satisfaction improved with most survey items. There was deterioration in satisfaction with some items. Controlling for family, job and demographic characteristics, the odds of a nurse being satisfied or very satisfied with their job overall were 25% higher in 2008 than in 2004.

CONCLUSIONS: There were improvements in most aspects of nurse satisfaction between 2004 and 2008.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Efforts to improve workplace conditions in the 2000s appear to have been effective in improving overall job satisfaction and satisfaction with a number of specific factors. However, some areas for improvement continue to be evident.