Nursing Practice Environment and Registered Nurses' Job Satisfaction in Nursing Homes

When registered nurses (RNs) working in nursing homes are not satisfied with their jobs, they often leave. High turnover of nurses can negatively affect quality of patient care. However, a supportive practice environment—with a core set of organization traits that support professional nursing practice—is associated with higher RN job satisfaction. Nursing home characteristics, including staffing levels, bed size, census and ownership status also affect nurse job satisfaction and turnover rates.

These researchers surveyed RNs in New Jersey nursing homes about their job satisfaction. They matched the answers from 863 nurses to data on the nursing homes they worked in, such as staffing levels, bed size and ownership.

Three of the five dimensions of the practice environment—participation in facility affairs, having a supportive manager and having adequate resources—were significant predictors of RN job satisfaction. The other two dimensions had no association with RN job satisfaction—foundations for quality of care and nurse-physician relationships.

RNs employed in for-profit nursing homes were less satisfied than those working in not-for-profit homes.

“This study is among the first to provide empirical support for the relationship between nursing practice and RN job satisfaction…in nursing homes,” the authors write.