Background: Although job satisfaction is a factor that influences retention, turnover and quality of nursing care globally, there are few studies exploring these factors in European countries.
Objectives: To describe job satisfaction among hospital nurses in Norway, to explore the relationship between nurses' job satisfaction and participation in a clinical ladder program and to explore relationships between several variables and intent to stay. A secondary purpose was to investigate the use of a job satisfaction instrument in a different culture than its origin.
Design: In a survey, 2095 nurses in four different hospitals answered a questionnaire that included demographic data, intent to stay and a job satisfaction instrument covering the importance of and actual satisfaction with different job factors.
Results: Interaction, followed by pay and autonomy were the most important job factors for Norwegian nurses. Actual job satisfaction was similar to nurses in other countries. There was no significant difference in job satisfaction between participants and non-participants in a clinical ladder. Nurses intending to stay more than a year were significantly more satisfied in their job. Further education and 1 day or more scheduled for professional development were factors that were positively related to intent to stay in the hospital.
Conclusions: Norwegian nurses' views on the importance of different job factors mirrored views of the importance ascribed to working milieu in the Norwegian society. As such, the instrument used seemed sensitive to cultural differences. Nurses' actual satisfaction with their job was similar to respondents in many other countries and may imply that structures and content defining nurses' working situation are similar in many parts of the world. Participation in a clinical ladder did not increase nurses' overall job satisfaction. However, further education and the opportunity for professional development increased nurses' intention to stay in the organization.