Term of Award

Spring 1991

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Eunice Bell

Committee Member 1

Marilyn M. Buck

Committee Member 2

Grace Martin


Nursing turnover is a chronic problem for nursing and hospital administration. Nursing turnover consumes a major portion of nonessential nursing costs. The effects of nursing turnover is compounded when it involves the head nurse. Nursing administration must identify the causes of this turnover and develop strategies to prevent it.

The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between job satisfaction and the intent to remain in a position. Head nurses from fifty (50) randomly selected acute care medical surgical facilities in Georgia were surveyed. one hundred and eight (108) head nurses from thirty (30) hospitals responded.

Participants were asked to rank the five factors out of eleven identified factors they perceived as contributing most to job satisfaction. In addition they were asked to rate their current level of satisfaction with all of the identified factors. Respondents were also asked their intent to remain in their current position for the next five years.

Participants ranked Standards of Patient Care (28%), Level of Administrative Support (19.6%), Pay/Benefits (15.9%), Ability to Function Autonomously (12.9%), and Scheduling: Says Off, Shifts, Etc. (7.5%) as the top five factors. There were moderate relationships between overall job satisfaction and intent to remain (r=.34) and between the top five factors and intent to remain.

Job satisfaction of nurses may not be determined by measures of tangible factors, such as pay, but rather intangible factors such as values and commitments. Perhaps factors which affect satisfaction or dissatisfaction of nurses are not those traditionally identified in job satisfaction surveys, but are instead more value-based.

Further research regarding values and needs and how the achievement of these affect the individual's job satisfaction should be considered. Furthermore whether there is a relationship between retention and the meeting of these needs and values should also be investigated.


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