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J Nurs Manag. 2006 Apr;14(3):244-50.

Nurse and resident satisfaction in magnet long-term care organizations: do high involvement approaches matter?

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Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



This study examines the association of high involvement nursing work practices with employer-of-choice (magnet) status in a sample of Canadian nursing homes.


In response to a severe shortage of registered nursing personnel, it is imperative for health care organizations to more effectively recruit and retain nursing personnel. Some long-term care organizations are developing employee-centred cultures that allow them to effectively enhance nurse and resident satisfaction. At the same time, many nursing homes have adopted progressive nursing workplace practices (high involvement work practices) that emphasize greater employee empowerment, participation and commitment.


A mail survey was sent to the director of nursing in 300 nursing homes in western Canada. In total, 125 useable questionnaires were returned and constituted the data set for this study. Separate ordinary least squares regressions are performed with magnet strength, nurse satisfaction and resident satisfaction used as dependent variables.


Nursing homes that demonstrate strong magnet (employer-of-choice) characteristics are more likely to have higher levels of nurse and patient satisfaction, even after controlling for a number of significant factors at the establishment level. Magnet nursing homes are more likely to have progressive participatory decision-making cultures and much more likely to spend considerable resources on job-related training for their nursing staff. The presence of high involvement work practices is not found to be a significant predictor in magnet strength, nurse or resident satisfaction.


Merely adopting more high involvement nursing work practices may be insufficient for nursing homes, which desire to become 'employers-of-choice' in their marketplaces, especially if these practices are adopted without a concomitant investment in nurse training or an enhanced commitment to establishing a more democratic and participatory decision-making style involving all nursing staff.

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