Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Nursing job satisfaction is an important component in today's healthcare environment. Job satisfaction, nurse recruitment, and retention are related throughout current nursing literature (LaSala, 2000; Muus et at, 1993; Stratton et al., 1991; Stratton et al., 1995). Most studies regarding nurse job satisfaction focus on the urban rather than rural healthcare environment. Nurses who practice in rural environments may perceive job satisfaction differently than nurses who practice in urban settings (Cavanagh, 1992; Muus et al., 1993; Pan et al., 1995; Price & Mueller, 1981). The purpose of this investigation was to determine the level of satisfaction and examine what employment and demographic factors influence job satisfaction of registered nurses working in rural hospital settings. A nonexperimental, descriptive design was used to explore the variables. The sample (N = 53) was derived from a population of 106 registered nurses working in four rural hospitals (less than 100 beds) located in the Midwest Herzberg's (1966) Two-Factor Theory of Management served well as the theoretical framework for this investigation. Herzberg's motivators are associated with increased job satisfaction. Herzberg identified motivators as achievement, recognition, work, responsibility, and advancement. To determine nurses' level of satisfaction, Stamps' (1997) Index of Work Satisfaction scale was used, Stamps identified six components of job satisfaction; these are autonomy, pay, task requirements, interaction, organizational policies, and professional status. The nurses' demographic data and variables of job satisfaction were examined to determine if a relationship existed. The most important variables relating to job satisfaction were identified as autonomy and pay. Professional status was identified as the least important component of job satisfaction. The overall Index of Work Satisfaction (IWS) scale was 11 .2 (range 0.9 - 37.1). Analysis of variance techniques were used to analyze the relationship between the components of job satisfaction and the nurses' demographic data. Results indicated no statistically significant relationship existed among the variables. This investigation was limited by the use of a convenience sample and limited geographical area. Additional research was recommended to further examine the concept of nursing job satisfaction using rural hospitals outside the Midwest area. Another recommendation was the inclusion of nurses who have left the rural healthcare selling. The ability to identify and isolate particular factors of job satisfaction is of importance to today's hospital and nursing administrators. Creating and maintaining a sense of job satisfaction for a nursing staff can contribute to increased recruitment, retention, and productivity.


Mary R. Hassett

Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2003 Christine M. Morgan


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