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J Adv Nurs. 2010 Aug;66(8):1819-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05336.x. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Nursing work environment and nurse caring: relationship among motivational factors.

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University of California Medical Center, San Diego, CA, USA.



This paper is a report of a study of the relationships among compassion satisfaction, nurse job satisfaction, stress, burnout and compassion fatigue to nurse caring.


Nurse caring is the most influential dimension of patient advocation and is predictive of patient satisfaction. Qualitative studies have indicated that nurse caring is a key motivational factor impacting recruitment and retention.


A correlational study of nurses (N = 126) was conducted in 2008 at a single, academic medical center. The six variables of interest were operationalized using four valid and reliable research instruments: (1) the Mueller McCloskey Satisfaction Scale, (2) the Professional Quality of Life Scale, (3) the Stress in General Scale and (4) the Caring Behaviors Inventory.


Pearson Product-moment correlations showed statistically significant relationships between nurse caring and compassion satisfaction (r = 0.51, P < 0.001), nurse job satisfaction subscales (r = 0.16-0.28, P < 0.05), stress (r = -0.21, P < 0.05), and burnout (r = -0.22, P < 0.01). A statistically significant relationship was found between the nurse caring subscale of knowledge and skill and compassion fatigue (r = -0.22, P < 0.01). Hierarchical multiple regression analysis demonstrated that compassion satisfaction (R(2) = 0.287, beta = 0.536, P = 0.000) and nurse satisfaction with social interaction opportunities related to work (beta = 0.223, P = 0.032) explained variability in nurse caring.


Fostering compassion satisfaction and social interaction opportunities among nurses may improve nurse caring, potentially sustaining long-term improvements in patient.

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