JOURNAL ARTICLE

Job satisfaction and its related factors: a questionnaire survey of hospital nurses in Mainland China

Hong Lu, Alison E While, K Louise Barriball
International Journal of Nursing Studies 2007, 44 (4): 574-88
16962123

BACKGROUND: The widespread nursing shortage is of concern in Mainland China and globally. Factors underpinning the increased mobility of the nursing workforce and their contribution to nurses' turnover thus merit attention. Understanding nurses' job satisfaction is important, as this is a key factor in nurses' turnover.

OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to explore nurses' views and experience regarding different components of their working lives in Mainland China.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey design was selected and 512 nurses working in the medical and surgical departments in two teaching hospitals in Beijing completed questionnaires yielding a response rate of 81%.

RESULTS: More than half of nurses (53.7%; n=275) were satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs and 15% (n=77) felt moderate to extreme occupational stress. The majority of the sample reported a high level of organizational commitment (63.7%; n=326) and professional commitment (85.9%; n=440) and only 5.9% (n=30) and 10.0% (n=51), respectively reported role conflict and role ambiguity often or very often. Nurses with a diploma or associate degree reported greater professional commitment and a lower level of role conflict than those with a bachelor degree (p<0.05), but there were no significant differences in job satisfaction, organizational commitment, occupational stress and role ambiguity by educational programme (p>0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Hospital nurses' positive feelings regarding their working lives may be influenced by developments in the health care system and the nursing profession in Mainland China. Nurses' educational level is an influencing factor on nurses' views and experiences of their working lives with the findings suggesting the need to develop a clinical career ladder for nursing staff in Mainland China.

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