Magnet hospital characteristics and northern Canadian nurses' job satisfaction

Heather Smith, Rick Tallman, Karen Kelly
Nursing Leadership 2006, 19 (3): 73-86
Retention of health professionals is a serious problem in northern and rural Canada. Magnet hospital factors are known to increase job satisfaction, which contributes to retention. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which magnet hospital characteristics (management support, nurse-doctor and nurse-manager relationships, professional autonomy and responsibility) contribute to northwestern Canadian hospital nurses' job satisfaction. Participants were 123 nurses from 13 hospitals in western Canada. They completed a survey and structured interview that provided data on their attitudes and perspectives about their hospital jobs. We found that some magnet hospital characteristics apply in northern and rural western Canadian hospitals. Our findings indicate that management support and nurse-manager relations are important to nurses' job satisfaction, but participants' views of management were fairly negative, an issue that management needs to address. Nurses' ability to work professionally and autonomously is also important to their satisfaction. There are indications that nursing supervisory skill sets need to be upgraded in some instances.

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