Relationship of job satisfaction with perceived organizational support and quality of care among South Korean nurses: a questionnaire survey

Int J Nurs Stud. 2010 Oct;47(10):1292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2010.02.014. Epub 2010 Mar 29.


Background: The International Hospital Outcomes Study found that organizational/managerial support for nursing has a pronounced effect on nurses' job dissatisfaction, burnout and quality of care. However, these findings have not been validated in non-Western countries using the same study method and instrument.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to: (a) examine associations between job satisfaction and burnout, organizational support and quality of care reported by South Korean nurses, (b) identify the best predictors of job satisfaction among South Korean nurses through multivariate modeling and (c) compare findings of this study with those from the International Hospital Outcomes Study.

Research method: This replication study used a cross-sectional survey design. The Pennsylvania Registered Nurse Survey used in the International Hospital Outcomes Study (IHOS) was administered to 496 registered nurses working at 23 acute hospitals in South Korea. A statistical model of job satisfaction was developed using logistic regression.

Results: Job dissatisfaction was positively correlated to total burnout scores (r=.42, p<.001) and lack of organizational support (r=.36, p<.001). Multivariate analysis found that job satisfaction was significantly associated at the level of 0.05 with total burnout scores, amount of organizational support and satisfaction with nurse identity, with odds ratios of .92 (p<.001), 1.04 (p<.01) and 11.93 (p<.001), respectively. Korean nurses reported low quality of care in their practice setting and were less confident in their patients' ability of self-management after discharge. Yet despite a high patient-to-nurse ratio (22 patients per nurse), Korean nurses had a higher job satisfaction rate (68.8%) and lower burnout scores (35.7) than their counterparts in the International Hospital Outcomes Study.

Conclusion: The high patient-to-nurse ratio allows South Korean nurses to focus on more technical tasks that give less stress and have higher job satisfaction because of it. However, this also leads to the South Korean nurses having less confidence in their patient's ability to take care of themselves upon discharge. South Korean nurses should also be given opportunity to advance themselves professionally and be recognized for their abilities while being given more responsibility for the clinical decision making in their patient's care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Surveys and Questionnaires