Term of Award

Fall 1994

Degree Name

Master of Nursing

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Camille P. Stern

Committee Member 1

Marilyn M. Buck

Committee Member 2

Marcella A. Hart


The concept of work satisfaction has been addressed in several employee populations including the nursing profession. The purpose of this study was to investigate the reported work satisfaction of two groups of registered nurses. One group consisted of nurses who had attended a nursing internship program. This program was designed for the graduate nurse to ease the transition from the academic world to the work world through a comprehensive 14 week course. This course included the opportunity to rotate to different nursing units of the hospital as well as a didactic classroom component. The second group consisted of nurses who had attended traditional orientation. This type of orientation was a four to six week program for graduate and seasoned registered nurses that included an introduction to the hospital and then unit specific familiarization.

The theoretical framework utilized for this study was Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory. This theory postulated that motivation will be present if the satisfying elements are present. An individual may be satisfied and dissatisfied at the same time. The hypothesis for this study was: Registered nurses who attend a nursing residency/internship program will report greater job satisfaction than registered nurses who attend a traditional orientation program.

The literature review revealed that professional registered nurses report varied levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with different aspects of their job. In order to overcome work dissatisfaction and effectively address the concept of "reality shock", nursing internships were developed. In addition to reducing the reality shock of the nurse, these programs also strived to foster work satisfaction among its participants.

Forty-five Index of Work Satisfaction Questionnaires were distributed to each group for a total of 90. This questionnaire measures overall work satisfaction as well as attitudes toward six components. These components were: salary, autonomy, organizational requirements, task requirements, job status and interaction. There was a 42% (N = 38) response rate. The reported overall job satisfaction between the two group was statistically significant (t = -1.996, p = 0.027) with the traditional orientation group being more satisfied. The six components were ranked the same by each group. Although there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups, neither group was strongly satisfied. The fact that neither group was clearly satisfied should prompt hospital administrators to investigate avenues of job redesign. Unless other factors are present, nursing residency programs do not foster work satisfaction in this sample.


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