Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction Among Staff Nurses

Nursing Shortage

The shortage of RNs in the U.S. could reach as high as 500,000 by 2025 according to a report released by Dr. Peter Buerhaus, Professor of Nursing, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and colleagues in March 2008.

A University of Pennsylvania study, noted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, found that an additional 30,000 nurses need to graduate each year to meet the current nursing needs of the nation. Another study by the American Hospital Association found that an additional 116,000 new nurses are needed now to fill the vacancies left by retiring nurses.

Nurse-Sensitive Data

The American Nurses Association began collecting data in 1997 to track the areas of greatest concern for nurses. Job satisfaction is directly related to the delivery of good patient care with positive outcomes.

Factors that affect good patient outcomes include reducing patient falls, bloodstream infections, hospital-acquired pneumonia and effective pain management.


Nurses who are allowed to practice autonomously, using independent judgment and critical thinking skills, have a greater sense of job satisfaction. Nurses feel empowered in workplaces that encourage and expect a nurse to raise questions and concerns about a patient's care.

Professional Development Opportunities

Opportunities for professional development and career advancement increase job satisfaction among nurses. Organizations with robust tuition and advanced certification reimbursement programs attract and retain the best and brightest.

Community Outreach

Nurses are happier working for organizations with strong community outreach and education programs. Nurse satisfaction surveys indicate a nurse enjoys formal community service opportunities to improve the lives of people in the community she serves. Surveys also conclude a nurse gains personal and professional satisfaction in his role as teacher; both as a mentor for novice nurses and providing education to patients and their families. Staff nurses' job satisfaction is a key focus of hospitals throughout the U.S. to combat the growing nursing shortage. Data is collected on a national level from Registered Nurses (RNs) to identify and address problem issues.