Publication Details

Halcomb, E. & Bird, S. (2020). Job Satisfaction and Career Intention of Australian General Practice Nurses: A Cross‐Sectional Survey. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52 (3), 270-280.



The nursing workforce in Australian general practice has increased exponentially in size over recent years to meet the growing demand for health care. Nurses are more likely to remain working if they are satisfied with their jobs. Satisfaction is impacted by a complex range of factors, including the environment, workplace relationships, and the nurses’ role. Therefore, satisfaction data cannot be generalized across disparate clinical settings. This study sought to investigate the job satisfaction and turnover intentions of nurses working in Australian general practice.

Design and Methods

A cross‐sectional online survey of nurses employed in general practices across Australia was conducted using convenience and snowball sampling techniques. The survey tool contained a 29‐item job satisfaction scale and 8 items around turnover intention.


786 responses were included in the analysis. Respondents were most satisfied with the work nature aspects of their job and least satisfied with the pay items. While most participants intended to stay in nursing (86%) and general practice (77%) employment, a substantial group were undecided about their future (16%). Those who were dissatisfied with their job or neutral in their satisfaction were more likely to be intending to leave than those who were satisfied with their job.


This is the first study of job satisfaction and turnover intention reported about nurses working in Australian general practice. It has highlighted that a substantial proportion of the workforce is undecided about their future. Therefore, strategies need to be developed to address the issues raised around job satisfaction to reduce the potential loss of these skilled nurses.

Clinical Relevance

Those intending to leave general practice nursing are more likely to be dissatisfied in their jobs. Understanding the factors that impact job satisfaction is important to inform strategies that will facilitate retention of nurses in general practice employment.



Link to publisher version (DOI)