Trends in the Experiences of Hospital-Employed Registered Nurses: Results From Three National Surveys

Peter I. Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN; Karen Donelan, ScD; Beth T. Ulrich, EdD, RN, FACHE, FAAN; Catherine Desroches, Dr.P.H.; Robert Dittus, MD, MPH

Disclosures

Nurs Econ. 2007;25(2):69-79. 

In This Article

Job and Career Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction

Survey results show that most hospital-employed RNs are generally satisfied with their jobs. In the 2002 survey, 13% of RNs reported they were "very satisfied," 50% were "moderately satisfied," and 16% said they were "a little satisfied" with their present job. In the succeeding two surveys, we changed the satisfaction response categories to "very satisfied" and "somewhat satisfied." In 2004, 27% of RNs reported they were very satisfied" and 52% were "somewhat satisfied" with their jobs, similar to the responses of RNs in 2006 (29% reported they were "very satisfied" and 48% said they were "somewhat satisfied" with their present job). The largest change in satisfaction was the growth in the percent of RNs who reported they were "very satisfied" with their jobs (see Table 9 ).

Satisfaction Being a Nurse

RNs were asked, "Independent of your present job, how satisfied are you with being a nurse?" Nearly nine in ten RNs in all three surveys indicated some level of satisfaction with being a nurse. In the 2002 survey, 35% reported they were "very satisfied," 41% were "moderately satisfied," and 11% said they were "a little satisfied" with being a nurse. As noted above, the satisfaction response categories were changed in subsequent surveys. In 2004, 44% reported being "very satisfied" and 41% were "somewhat satisfied." Two years later, in 2006, even more RNs (55%) reported they were "very satisfied" and 48% were "somewhat satisfied" with being a nurse. Once again, the largest change in satisfaction was the growth in the percent of RNs who reported they were "very satisfied" with being a nurse (see Table 9 ).

Willingness to Advise a Career in Nursing

Results of the 2006 national survey of RNs confirm that hospital-employed RNs who provide direct patient care are increasingly likely to advise a qualified high school or college student to pursue a career in nursing. In 2002, a total of 59% said they would advise nursing (14% "definitely would" and 45% "probably would") but, in 2004, an even larger total (72%) said they would advise nursing (31% "definitely would" and 41% "probably would") to a qualified high school or college student. In the most recent survey, these sentiments increased once again, as 80% of RNs in 2006 reported they would advise a career in nursing (fully 42% indicated they "definitely would" and 38% said they "probably would") advise a career in nursing to a qualified high school or college student.

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