Factors contributing to nurse job satisfaction in the acute hospital setting: a review of recent literature

J Nurs Manag. 2010 Oct;18(7):804-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01131.x.


Aim: To explore and discuss from recent literature the common factors contributing to nurse job satisfaction in the acute hospital setting.

Background: Nursing dissatisfaction is linked to high rates of nurses leaving the profession, poor morale, poor patient outcomes and increased financial expenditure. Understanding factors that contribute to job satisfaction could increase nurse retention.

Evaluation: A literature search from January 2004 to March 2009 was conducted using the keywords nursing, (dis)satisfaction, job (dis)satisfaction to identify factors contributing to satisfaction for nurses working in acute hospital settings.

Key issues: This review identified 44 factors in three clusters (intra-, inter- and extra-personal). Job satisfaction for nurses in acute hospitals can be influenced by a combination of any or all of these factors. Important factors included coping strategies, autonomy, co-worker interaction, direct patient care, organizational policies, resource adequacy and educational opportunities.

Conclusions: Research suggests that job satisfaction is a complex and multifactorial phenomenon. Collaboration between individual nurses, their managers and others is crucial to increase nursing satisfaction with their job.

Implications for nursing management: Recognition and regular reviewing by nurse managers of factors that contribute to job satisfaction for nurses working in acute care areas is pivotal to the retention of valued staff.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Australia
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / supply & distribution
  • Organizational Culture
  • Personnel Selection
  • Personnel Turnover*
  • Social Environment
  • Social Perception
  • Social Support