Impact of Workplace Factors on Nurses Job Satisfaction and Retention


This paper intends to find out the factor which affects the satisfaction and retaining levels of nurses at their work places. For this purpose an introduction is provided which briefly introduces the topic to the readers, secondly the body of paper starts with the definitions of the key terms so that it is possible for the readers to refer to them when they go through the papers. Then a review of these key terms is given in relation to today’s nursing industry. And lastly a conclusion is reached which briefly summarizes the whole document.


Over the last ten to fifteen years the healthcare and medical services, have observed drastic changes. As more and more advanced and complex methods are used in providing for the patients, it has added to the healthcare department, and also to the costs incurred in providing such facilities. And also that according to a survey in 2006 it has been noted that there has been a noticeable shortage of nurses, it is expected that by 2020 the overall shortage of registered nurses will reach 400,000 (Evans, 2006). Furthermore there has been a strong feeling that nursing is now proving to be a hectic job and, and elements needed to provide healthy nursing are loosed control of by the nurses themselves. Therefore in order to deal with these shortages and problems, chief medical officers and nursing staff heads have tried to resolve these issues and reached a conclusion that there is a need for nurses to gain excellence in following areas:

  • Norms and cultures of nursing administrative attitudes.
  • Cohesion to principles of quality, in order to provide better care for patients.
  • Chief nurses role to act as a support to the profession.

To recognize the fact that there is a need to comply with the cultural and ethical needs of different patients. (American Credentialing Center, 2003)

What we have discussed above is the way in which nurses, to some extent, van improve their behavior towards patients. However there have been other factors as wee, which have contributed to the problems of healthcare service providing. In order to have proper idea to these factors, a basic question is formulated, this is as follows:

What are the factors which have contributed to the job satisfaction and retention levels in nursing profession?, for this purpose what are the key terms and what is their proper definition in the perspective of the topic?”

Following factors have been identified:

  • Disrespect at the Work Place or Incivility.
  • Working Pressure.
  • Intention or Decision to Turnover.
  • Job Contentment.
  • Proper Administrative and Inter-Organizational Support.
  • Psychological Factors.

Definition of Terms

For the discussion to take place there is a vital need to recognize, precisely the meaning and importance of the key terms. These are discussed as follows:

  • Disrespect at the Work Place or Incivility. It is, actually an intent , vague, to spoil the victims confidence, which is against the organizational culture and norms, however the strength to do so is low, but practically it can be measured by the Workplace Incivility Scale. (Langhout & Magley, 2001).
  • Working Pressure. This is a situation which defined as condition, in which a number of factors work in combination which irritates the worker, and disturbs the physiological and mental needs.
  • Intention or Decision to Turnover. The intension or feeling of a nurse that whether she/he should leave the current job and look and get employed somewhere else.
  • Job Contentment. A situation in which a worker is quite satisfied by the job, as he is sufficiently appraised and rewarded, maybe by financial means or by polite behavior.
  • Proper Administrative and Inter-Organizational Support. It is an observation, under which that a worker thinks that he is properly cared for, rewarded , as a reward for his/her services, by his/her coworkers, customers, and most importantly managerial heads.
  • Psychological Factors. The list of these factor can be non exhaustive, however following are some which are most contributing toward certain behaviors; these can be self consciousness, educational levels, and ones importance towards work and office.

Discussion: Review of the Literature

Disrespect at the Work Place or Incivility

It is now that we are aware of the key terms it is now necessary that how these elements contribute positively or negatively to the nurse’s job satisfaction level and their intention to either retain to the current job or to the nursing profession.

We have already discussed that what is workplace incivility, now we need to know that how it affects the nurses behavior. It is however necessary to be stated that today at our medical centers workplace incivility is not rare and our ignorant behavior is causing it to flourish. The effects of work place incivility have been disastrous on the behavior of nurses; it has compelled them to yell on patients. there are numerous kinds of workplace incivility of which one is, practiced by the “petty tyrants”, the petty tyrants are the supervisor whi9ch are ineffective in their work and they look down to their subordinates, they eventually try to show their power over the lower staff in a disrespecting way, and occasionally underestimates and ignores the behaviors of their sub ordinates, sometimes in presence of others, so that it adds up to the dishonoring and sometimes in private, the petty tyrants , practice such behaviors on the basis of authority and control and the upper hand they posses over the lower level. However the consequences are horrible; such behaviors reduce the motivation and job satisfaction levels of the worker, which in our case are nurses. Furthermore diminishes the level of creativity in ones work, creates puzzlement about the work and responsibilities and formulation of impaired planning in order to achieve certain goals. Therefore after being dealt by a “petty tyrant”, it has been observed that nurses become prone to reduced esteem and confidence levels, they intentionally practice misconduct and do less work and reduce the amount of hard work as they become demotivated. Therefore as a result nurses get away from get illumined about their task. Furthermore tyranny transforms a workplace into a one which is based on pathetic moral, and inability to from cohesion to from groups to perform specific tasks.

In addition to incivility there were other factors which contributed to the nurses retaining to the profession, these can be recognized as the interpersonal point of views of job contentment. It was observed that there is a strong link between quality of correspondence with managerial heads and peers and job satisfaction, another thing which helped to determine the satisfaction level of the nurses was recognition of their services by the coworkers and supervisors, which was in the monetary terms, that the nurses wondered if they were properly paid. However the job satisfaction of the nurses can be further enhanced if they are more involved into the managerial aspects of the workplace. Like for example a general opinion of the nurses be taken and implemented, if not vulnerable, on having I increased the number of rooms in a hospital or in what ways the systems processes can be improved. (McClellan, 2000).

Working Pressure

In light of our previous discussion we have determined that occupational stress is a condition under which a number of factor causes a worker to be pressurized and reduce its input into a task, stressors leads to strains where stressors can be defined as thoughts, events and people which causes someone to perceive that they our disadvantageous. There can be three types of occupational stress which are debated in the following context, which are individual stressors, grouped or organizational stressors, and lastly extra- organizational stressors. The individual stress can be further explained in a way that it includes one’s ability to realize that whether he is paid adequately and recognizes any threatening circumstances. Whereas on the other hand group or organizational stressors are the changes in working conditions, the set of norms and cultures. And lastly the stressors which are found at home, workplace and environment can be regarded as the extra-organizational stressors. If we go in more detail individual stress can be the elements of politics being practiced in a workplace i.e. giving biased opinions about someone due to jealousy, where examples or organizational stressor can be of the strict procedures and ways which are to be followed in performing any task, these in reality really strains workers as they might think they have better alternative ways to do our jobs, and pollution levels, unpleasant climatic and temperature changes can be categorized into environmental stressors( subcategory of extra-organizational stressors). Moreover there exists the family stressor which includes changes in family relationships maybe due to marriage, divorce, death/ birth of a beloved family member.

The stressors discussed above are said to have very upsetting effects on the ways one does or performs his jobs these effects can be divided into physiological and psychological ones. What can be referred to as the physiological effects are for example pain in the lower backbone, infections and eating and digestion problems? While on the other hand psychological ones are like reduction in job satisfaction level and motivation and commitment level, moreover underestimating one’s own importance reducing socialization with peers. There can be more distorting effects categorized into behavioral effects such as poor timeliness, switching jobs more frequently, use o alcohol and tobacco and reduced performance.

Job Contentment

Provided that we have already discussed, in sufficient detail that what job satisfaction is, now we shall go into further details. As we go into more detail it can be identified that job satisfaction theories can be further divided into two denominations; the first being the content aspect and later being the process theories. Simply the factors which effect the job satisfaction are referred to as the content theories whilst the procedure under which the consequences of jobs and its needs respond to the job itself to generate contentment, is said to be the part of process theories. Furthermore the content theories argue that pay or monetary benefits are not the only factor which determine the job contentment level, but the working conditions and a social environment is also necessary to have better compliance with the job.

Intention or Decision to Turnover

This has been also discussed previously, now a review is required. There are said to be two subdivisions on the turnover concept which the switching or changing jobs voluntarily and involuntarily, where voluntarily means that the worker itself chooses, according to his will that whether he want to continue or discontinue his present job and involuntarily means that the department heads or directors fire someone off the jobs without employees consent. Therefore it can be either way, now for us it is worthwhile to know that nurses are leaving or switching their jobs voluntarily or involuntarily, the answer to this is that it is both, as it has been observed when due to increased level of pressure and stress nurses have found to be involved in unethical practices as well for example misbehavior and reduced performance, then the employers are forced to scan through the faculty in order to retain the better ones. And on the other hand this is also the case that due to stress and workplace incivility nurses are voluntarily switching or leaving the nursing profession. (Dion, 2006).

Proper Administrative and Inter-Organizational Support

It also the case that if nurses are provided with adequate support in terms of help and socializing, they retained more towards a particular job, this is because when their opinions were taken at different issues such as development opportunities, boosted their interest and confidence levels and caused the them to perform m well and reducing their intention to switch jobs.

Psychological Factors

The number of psychological factors can be non exhaustive, this is what we have discussed beforehand. But these factors can play an important role in determining a nurse’s satisfaction level derived from her job. If we consider educational level, then it would show the aspect of dealing with patients of different natures, and adhere to different cultural and ethical needs of the patients. Self consciousness and importance of work can be two other aspects of these factors which may have vital effects on the nurses retaining to a job.


This paper can be concluded as a means of finding out the factors which determine the levels of job satisfaction of nurses, today when there is an immense demand and shortage of their services. There are several factors such as workplace incivility, occupational stress and turnover etc which have been identified as the findings of these papers. Moreover suggestions to some level are also given that as to how this shortage can be dealt with and what are the ways in which the number of registered nurses can be increased so that the better healthcare facilities can be provided.


American Nurses Credentialing Centre. (2003).Magnet Recognition Program Recognizing Excellence in Nursing Service: Health Care Organization Instructions and Applications Process Material. Washington, D. C.

Evans, M. What Really Matters More? Modern Health Care, 2006, 8-9, 16.

McClellan, A. (2000). Beyond Courtesy: redefining Civility. In L. S. Rouner (Ed.). Civility (pp. 78-93). Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.

Michael John Dion (2006), The Impact Of Workplace Incivility And Occupational Stress On The Job Satisfaction And Turnover Intention Of Acute Care Nurse. University Of Connecticut.