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Int J Nurs Stud. 2018 Sep 1;88:123-134. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.08.014. [Epub ahead of print]

Job satisfaction among critical care nurses: A systematic review.

Author information

1
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, 451 Smyth Road (RGN 3051), Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8M5, Canada. Electronic address: alisonruiz@gmail.com.
2
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, 451 Smyth Road (RGN 3051), Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8M5, Canada. Electronic address: ibarb062@uottawa.ca.
3
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, 451 Smyth Road (RGN 3051), Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8M5, Canada. Electronic address: mdeme048@uottawa.ca.
4
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, 451 Smyth Road (RGN 3051), Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8M5, Canada. Electronic address: Amanda.Vandyk@uottawa.ca.
5
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Clinical Epidemiology Program, 501 Smyth Box 511, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L6, Canada; University of Ottawa, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, 600 Peter Morand Crescent, Room 101, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 5Z3, Canada. Electronic address: igraham@ohri.ca.
6
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, 451 Smyth Road (RGN 3051), Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8M5, Canada; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Clinical Epidemiology Program, 501 Smyth Box 511, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L6, Canada. Electronic address: janet.squires@uottawa.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nursing shortages, particularly in critical care units, are a major concern worldwide. Job satisfaction is a key factor associated with the high turnover of critical care nurses.

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this systematic review was to synthesize the evidence on critical care nurses' job satisfaction. Specific research questions were: 1. How is job satisfaction defined and measured in studies of critical care nurses? 2a. What is the level of job satisfaction among critical care nurses? 2b. How has it changed over time? 2c. Do nurses' levels of job satisfaction differ by type of critical care unit? 3. What factors are associated with critical care nurses' job satisfaction?

DESIGN:

Systematic review.

DATA SOURCES:

We searched five electronic databases from January 1980 to May 2015: MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, EMBASE, and Proquest Nursing & Allied Health Source.

REVIEW METHODS:

Two team members independently screened all titles and abstracts and extracted data and assessed methodological quality on all included papers. A narrative synthesis with vote counting was undertaken.

RESULTS:

A total of 1995 titles were identified, of which 61 satisfied our inclusion criteria. Only 24 (39%) of the included studies reported a conceptual definition of job satisfaction. Forty-two different quantitative measures of job satisfaction were identified, of which only 10 (24%) were used in multiple studies. The weighted mean job satisfaction score for critical care nurses across all studies was 56% satisfied and demonstrated fluctuations over time. Four factors showed significant positive relationships to job satisfaction: 1. shift worked - rotating 8- to 12-h and rotating days, evenings or nights; 2. Autonomy; 3. personnel resources and staffing; and 4. teamwork and cohesion; while two factors showed significant negative relationships to job satisfaction: 1. job stress; and 2. burnout-emotional exhaustion.

CONCLUSION:

From this review, we did not find any evidence to support relationships between individual (socio-demographic) factors and critical care nurses' job satisfaction. We did however find evidence to support relationships between several employment and organizational factors and job satisfaction. Several of these factors are different from those reported among general hospital nurses and long-term care nursing staff, supporting the need for differential strategies to improve critical care nurses' job satisfaction. While the findings from this review hold promise as potential targets of future job satisfaction interventions, there were several methodological problems inherent in many of the studies.

KEYWORDS:

Critical care; Job satisfaction; Nurse; Systematic review

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