A detailed study of articles and journals, critically analyzing the ways in which nurses can feel satisfied in their workplace, and satisfaction in the profession. Many factors contribute to satisfaction, or lack of it. These include psychological factors as attitude towards work and social problems affecting individual worker; effects of the organizational leadership and material factors.
Leadership greatly affects satisfaction. It is on this basis that I have raised the arguments, since leadership influences workplace culture, and acts to influence other factors mentioned above.
Commitment of nurses in job depends greatly on the leadership style. Better leadership style can formulate policies regarding wages and salary; professionalism; flexibility in work; research and career development; gender equity; health; age; race; and other socio-economic policies that will enable the work environment be appreciated by nurse and other workers. This increases their level of commitment and satisfaction.
Job satisfaction in nursing ensures commitment. Better leadership and managerial style is needed for achievement of satisfaction. Transformation of leadership structure and perception is essential.
Job satisfaction generally implies the contentment of an individual worker with his job. It entails attitude one has concerning the job; an affection due to appraisal of his job. Many factors are attributed to job satisfaction, where the workers feel happy with their jobs. Job satisfaction depends on the management style, involvement of the employees, organizational culture, empowerment, employee autonomy and positivism. Most of the positions in health care and nursing are held by nurses; hence their job satisfaction is great in any organization. There are varying degrees of job satisfaction in nursing.
The nurses feel satisfied depending on the level and the units in which the nurses worked in the healthcare organization. The nurses may feel personally satisfied by some aspects of job environment which may not satisfy other nurses. Job dissatisfaction makes nurses to decide and change careers as a possible solution. Job satisfaction can be evaluated in terms of performance, intrinsic work values, profits (income) and patient-related issues. In the sector characterized by shortage of nurses, job satisfaction therefore, is of paramount importance to the management and the workers. Job dissatisfaction leads to absenteeism, staff turnover and quits (Fitzpatrick and Wallace, 2005, p.307).
Job satisfaction in nursing is mostly attributed to work environment which should be favorable. The nurses point out that there should be free interactions with peers at the workplace. The opportunities for future career development also makes nurses feel satisfied with their jobs. Some nurses feel dissatisfied by management floating them to work overtime and other areas outside their expertise.
Management and job satisfaction in healthcare are closely correlated, and this leads to commitment. When nurses feel satisfied with their job, they will have a lower intention to leave the workplace. Leadership plays a major role in job satisfaction of nurses. It is positively correlated with their job satisfaction and commitment. It is clear that nurses who take leadership positions in the hospitals tend to encourage other nurses to do more and maintain higher quality standards.
Leadership basically is the process sin which individual greatly influences others to achieve specific mission. In the organization, leaders formulate long term vision, build teams, coalitions and increase commitment among the workers. Achieving organizational goals through effective leadership involves inspiring, motivating and empowering employees. Supervisors are salient in workplace. He represents organizational culture and changes behaviors of subordinates (Toscano and Ponterdolph, 1998, p.32)
Many nurses feel devalued in their jobs. The net gain of the healthcare organizations go to the patients, as such, the nurses develop feelings that they are not valued and recognized as contributing highly to the healthcare organization’s profits. (Fletcher, 2001, p.328)
The attitudes of coworkers within the organization on a horizontal scale also contribute to job satisfaction of most nurses. The nursing profession is physically demanding. It involves repositioning of patients and certain movements and exposure at given situations. Most of the nurses in health care organizations are dissatisfied by the management which puts them to work long hours (Fletcher, 2001, p.329).
There is high job satisfaction in nurses who are autonomous and are operating independent clinics and healthcare centers. They use their critical thinking skills in their work. They feel satisfied and empowered at their places of work where they are encouraged and are expected to ask questions concerning patient’s care.
Nurses are satisfied by opportunities for future development in their career work. Healthcare organizations which have career advancement policies are preferred by the nurses. Community outreach also makes nurses happy, and feel satisfied with their jobs. The work environment with opportunities for community services meant to improve the people’s lives in the community make nurses feel satisfied. The nurse, according to recent surveys, enjoys his or her work as a teacher, and as such gains professional and personal satisfaction. He does this by mentoring novice nurses and educating patients and their families (Hyett, 2003, p.134)
The work environment in nursing contributes to job dissatisfaction. Health care organizations have a tendency to under-employ staff, fewer personnel especially full time personnel. The nurse is the face of the organization and is prone to risks such include toxic and latex problems, disinfectants. The work environment which is unsafe makes the nurse feel dissatisfied. Job satisfaction is higher in residential care than in nursing homes and hospitals. This comes as a result of nurse being satisfied with the working conditions in the homes (Ingresol et al, 2002, p.253)
Homes ensure autonomy, and increased job control combined with rewarding relation with chronic patients. These nurses feel satisfied because they do not experience administrative burden and tremendous pace required by hospital nurses. The hospital environment makes the nurses feel dissatisfied since the doctors decisions are supreme and final. There are more hierarchical and bureaucratic management procedures in the hospital environment that dissatisfies nurses and lowers their commitment (Lashinger and Havens, 1997, p.44).
Gender aspects of leadership in health care organizations make he women nurses feel dissatisfied. They are underrepresented in the top management. They are likely to lead in lower level positions as departmental heads. Men take the chief executive office and other senior positions. Even in the management, women also feel dissatisfied by the salaries they get since they are paid significantly lower salaries. There exists the male-female salary gap which has been constant over time. The female executives also feel burdened by family responsibilities and become dissatisfied by the job. More females than males voluntarily withdraw from job (Shader et al, 2001, p.214).
Racial leadership styles in healthcare management makes the nurses feel dissatisfied with their jobs especially when there is racial discrimination in the organization they work in. there is tendency for management to prefer certain races over others and this from the majority in leadership structure. Others feel devalued and dissatisfied with this management style. They will opt to voluntarily leave nursing, seeking other professions, or absenting themselves from work (Nayeri et al, 2005, p.16).
Most of the health care organizations face challenges that come with aging population, insured and noninsured persons, adjusting to expensive technology which generally requires more resources. These challenges require clinical leaders who value health care workers and specifically nurses.
The nurses become dissatisfied as their degree of professionalism increases. Their expectations from the management decrease. The sister nurses and deputy nurses are relatively satisfied, while staff nurses are least satisfied. It is argued that younger nurses have fewer responsibilities, less pressure and demands from doctors. Senior nurses experience job dissatisfaction due to increased responsibility and schedules. The senior nurses focus on family and retirement, factors which are external to the work environment (Ingresol et al, 2002, p.258)
The health care organizations should develop strong and significant leadership which will transform the health care system and make the management of the system reflect gender, diversity, ethnic, racial aspects of the communities they serve. This will enhance the attitude of nurses at the work place and make them feel satisfied.
The women, who form large percentage of the workforce in healthcare system, remain underrepresented. The management should be organized in such a way that gender is considered. Women should be encouraged and allowed to take top leadership positions in the health care system. This will make them feel satisfied that they are valued. There should be gender equity in the management of the health care system with respect to salary and family-job related issues.
The management should acquire resources that will provide for recruitment of more nurses and health professionals to avoid shortage. The inadequacy makes the nurses to work long hours in a tiring environment. The recruitment of more staff will ensure job satisfaction since the nurses will work in manageable shifts.
The more hierarchical and bureaucratic procedures that dissatisfy nurses should be checked by the management in order to increase commitment of the workforce and ensure job satisfaction. Failure to achieve this, the management may experience shortage of nurses who decide to leave the environment for another or seek other professions.
The perception that nursing is regarded as female profession makes male nurses to feel devalued and become dissatisfied. This management should ensure better organizational culture that is based on professionalism.
The leaders and nurses in managerial positions should stay abreast of the factors that contribute to job satisfaction. There should be prompt and just consideration of issues related to management support, work conditions, employees support and salary inequalities. This will enhance job satisfaction of nurses and strengthen organizational commitment.
Nurses should be provided with a sense of autonomy in the job, and equitable workloads. They are more likely to remain committed and satisfied with their work in the organization. The salaries given to nurses in general should be competitive at all levels. This will make the cost of leaving the job to be high. The nurses will be satisfied.
Nurses’ degree of professionalism should be recognized and valued by the organizational management. Further training of nurses tends to raise their expectations towards their superiors. As such, they should be recognized as special nurses. Generally, nurses should be valued to be contributing greatly to the satisfaction of the patients. The management should realize and recognize this relationship and open opportunities where highly trained nurses can use their abilities.
Leadership contributes greatly to job satisfaction. It is related to patient’s satisfaction, organizational performance and employee commitment. Leadership quality varies in different countries.