Against a background of nurse shortages in Australian hospitals, a significant challenge facing the healthcare sector is the recruitment and retention of nurses. The job stress and job satisfaction of nurses have been associated with recruitment and retention. The aim of this study is to consider two factors that may contribute to the job satisfaction and job stress of nurses: social support and empowerment. Using a sample of 157 registered nurses in a private hospital in Melbourne, Australia, we found that social support derived from the nurse's supervisor and work colleagues lowered job stress and at the same time increased job satisfaction. The presence of nurse empowerment, meaning, impact, competence and self-determination, also lowered job stress and increased job satisfaction. Finally, we discuss contributions of this study and implications for recruitment and retention of nurses in the health sector.