Job satisfaction among small rural hospital nurses: A cross-sectional study

Publication Name

Journal of Nursing Scholarship


Purpose: To explore the relationships between job satisfaction, community satisfaction, practice environment, burnout, and intention to leave of nurses working in Australian small rural hospitals. Design: A national cross-sectional survey of 383 nurses from Australian rural public hospitals of less than 99 beds during 2018. Methods: Job satisfaction was measured on a four-point Likert scale. Factors associated with community satisfaction, practice environment, burnout and intention to leave were analyzed using multiple linear regression to explore the predictors of job satisfaction. Findings: Overall job satisfaction was positive, with most nurses moderately (n = 146, 38.1%) or very satisfied (n = 107, 27.9%) with their current job. Emotional exhaustion, nurse manager ability, leadership and support of nurses were the most significant predictors of job satisfaction. Conclusion: This study provides new insight into the factors impacting the job satisfaction of nurses working in rural hospitals. The knowledge gained is important to inform strategies to retain nurses in rural areas and, in turn, ensure rural communities have access to quality health care. Clinical relevance: The impact of nurses' job satisfaction on burnout, patient safety, and intention to leave is well recognized; however, there is limited understanding of job satisfaction in a rural hospital context. This study provides an understanding of the factors that impact job satisfaction of nurses working in small rural hospitals and highlights the importance of improving the practice environment to reduce the high attrition rates of this workforce.

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