Job Dissatisfaction Among Registered Nurses

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 8
Words: 1965
Reading time:
8 min
Study level: College


It is important for every organization to ensure that it addresses the issue of job dissatisfaction among its employees before things get out of control. Job dissatisfaction lowers the productivity and performance of employees. This then makes the quality of services being delivered by nurses to drop considerably. In case of medical institutions, when nurses are not satisfied with their jobs, they put the health of patients at risk because they end up delivering substandard services to the patients. Therefore, when nurses deliver poor services to patients, the reputation of the entire organization also gets ruined.

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There are different explanations as to why nurses get dissatisfied with their jobs (AL-Hussami, 2008). Dissatisfaction of nurses results from heavy workloads, poor leadership styles, lack of motivation, inadequate training, and lack of appreciation for the nursing profession by the health care administrators. In addition, it is said that most employees who work in nursing home facilities are usually underpaid. It is therefore evident that nurses get dissatisfied with their jobs because of the hardships that they are exposed to in their places of work (Kettle, n.d). This paper will therefore analyze the issue of job dissatisfaction among registered nurses and how this issue has led to a reduction in the quality of services that are delivered to patients.

Literature Review

The issue of job dissatisfaction among nurses plays a very important in the health care policy. This is because, as more nurses get dissatisfied with their jobs, they leave their organizations thereby reducing the number of nurses in the organization. As a result, the remaining nurses become overloaded thereby reducing the quality of services that they deliver to patients. For example, it has been noted that the number of registered nurses in United States today is declining at a very high rate.

In addition, it is said that the shortage of nurses is likely to intensify if the issue of job dissatisfaction is not addressed in time. Research shows that shortage of employees was estimated to be approximately 12 percent in the US in 2010. However, this rate is projected to increase to 29 percent by the year 2020 (Weisman, Alexander, & Chase, n.d). This means that if the issues which are making nurses to be dissatisfied with their jobs are not fully addressed, the quality of services that are delivered to patients will keep on deteriorating.

It is said that the issue of job dissatisfaction is making many nurses to leave their professions for good. Studies related to job dissatisfaction among nurses are not concerned about the attitudes and working conditions of nurses. However, most studies relating to job dissatisfaction among employees are usually directed to specific hospitals or groups of hospitals rather than to the national samples of nurses.

This is because poor working conditions in the places where the nurses work are the ones which make them to be dissatisfied with their jobs. Senior administrators in hospitals tend to take advantage of nurses by exposing them to poor working conditions. They also overwork them and undermine their capabilities. As a result, the nurses feel that their rights are being violated and therefore decide to leave their professions (Weisman, Alexander, & Chase, n.d).

In order to estimate the level of job dissatisfaction among registered nurses in hospitals, Fletcher conducted a study whereby he mailed questionnaires to 5,192 registered nurses. Out of the mailed questionnaires, only 1,780 questionnaires were returned. These questionnaires were then evaluated in order to help understand the various causes of job dissatisfaction among nurses. The issues that were emphasized on include job satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and extrinsic work values. Job satisfaction was evaluated based on factors such as job performance, profits, patient care, and inherent work values (Murrells, Robinson, & Griffiths, 2008).

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In this perspective therefore, most of the nurses who were evaluated said that they felt devalued in their jobs. The nurses said that they employed a lot of efforts to ensure that the patients received quality health care. However, when the profitability of the organization increased, the nurses did not receive a significant increase in their salaries. This is an indication that their organizations did not acknowledge the efforts that the nurses applied to make their organization succeed in delivering quality services to the patients. With regard to patient care, many respondents said that patient care was not adequate because issues such as organizational change and staffing within their respective organizations were not focused on improving the health of the patients (Murrells, Robinson, & Griffiths, 2008).

Many respondents argued that patient dissatisfaction and insecurity were critical issues which made them to be dissatisfied with their roles as nurses. Most of them said that they felt guilty for not being able to offer adequate bedside care to the patients who were seriously ill. In addition, the respondents argued that there were many unlicensed assistive personnel who were allowed to provide care to the patients. As a result, the registered nurses were the ones who handled great responsibilities in order to ensure that the lives of the patients were safe. This resulted to the nurses being overburdened because the unlicensed personnel would not be relied on.

Other crucial factors that played a major role in making the respondents to be dissatisfied with their responsibilities include job insecurity and poor work schedules. In addition, the nurses complained that they were not given enough free time to handle their own personal affairs. Moreover, their salary was not proportionate to the tasks that they were performing in the health institutions. As a result, the nurses ended up being frustrated and dissatisfied with the tasks that they were undertaking in their respective health institutions (Murrells, Robinson, & Griffiths, 2008).

The literature therefore illustrates that institutional factors are the ones which make nurses to be dissatisfied with their profession. Job dissatisfaction is therefore very important issue to consider in the nursing profession. This is because it helps in understanding how job dissatisfaction can put the lives of patients at risk when they do not receive adequate care from nurses. The literature has demonstrated that there are those health organizations whose main motive is to make money and they therefore do not pay attention to the needs of the patients and nurses.

They take advantage of the nurses’ professionalism then fail to reward them appropriately for their services. In addition, they expose the nurses to poor working conditions thereby making their productivity and performance to reduce significantly. In this perspective therefore, it is true that institutional based factors are the ones which make nurses to be dissatisfied in their jobs.

Job dissatisfaction influences health care needs of patients

The issue of job dissatisfaction has a significant impact on the needs of the patients and the entire nursing profession. It is true that when nurses do not get satisfied with their profession, their performance reduces and the quality of services that they deliver to their patients declines. This puts the lives of the patients in danger. This is because, when the registered nurses express their dissatisfaction with their profession, the patients are exposed to the care of the less qualified and unlicensed assistive personnel (Johnson, 2007). This state of affairs therefore makes the nursing profession to be discredited by many health experts.

Implications on future nursing practice

Job dissatisfaction is an issue that has a very crucial impact on future nursing practices. When nurses become dissatisfied in their jobs, they leave the patients with no one to take good care of them. The nurses who are left therefore become overloaded with tasks thereby forcing them to quit also. In addition, because of the bad reputation that is being associated with the nursing profession, many people are refraining from practicing the profession. It is said that this trend will continue until very few nurses are left to provide health care services to patients. Therefore, with the reduced number of nurses, delivery of health care services to patients will be inefficient (Wainwright, 2012).

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Health care policy is an issue that will significantly influence the issue of job dissatisfaction among nurses. Health care policy refers to a set of rules, regulations and guidelines aimed at financing and shaping the delivery of health care services to patients (Wisegeek, 2012). Many governments aim at financing health care costs in order to make health care services affordable to everybody. This is because there are many people who cannot manage to cater for their health care needs adequately. For example, the US government has set in place Medicare and Medicaid health care financing mechanisms in order to enable everybody to gain access to adequate health care.

Nurses work together with physicians so as to help patients receive high quality care. Therefore, when health care is financed adequately, more funds will be available for nurses to pay for their graduate education. There will also be increased funding to educate nurses who wish to work in underserved regions. This state of affairs will have the overall effect of making nurses to be satisfied in their jobs.

It is said that when health care reforms are implemented, the health care policy will enable the patients to have more power and protection. Children will be allowed to stay under their parents’ health plan until they reach the age of 26. Those businesses which have less than 50 employees will get tax cuts. Though more than 85 percent of US residents are said to be happy with their current insurance coverage, they will be forced to purchase approved insurance when the reforms become implemented fully (Wisegeek, 2012). The insurance coverage will cost people more money. For example, a family of 4 people which is capable of earning an income of $54,000 will be required to pay approximately 17 percent of that amount to cater for health care services (Ledue, 2008).

Summary and conclusion

From the analysis therefore, it is true that job dissatisfaction is an issue that needs to be properly addressed in order to ensure that employees remain committed to providing quality services to the clients of an organization. The paper has shown that the nursing profession requires nurses to be satisfied in their jobs in order for them to ensure that patients are not exposed to any health risks. It has also been noted that many factors which make nurses to be dissatisfied with their jobs originate from the institutions where they work (Fickenscher, 2011).

With the rate at which nurses are quitting their jobs as a result of being dissatisfied, health institutions are finding it difficult to hire new qualified nurses. Health care policy has also shown concern on the issue of job dissatisfaction among nurses by ensuring that adequate funding is provided in order to ensure that nurses get all the resources that they require to enable them to carry out their nursing practices smoothly. Therefore, the state should intervene in order to ensure that nurses are satisfied in their places of work. The state should also ensure that nurses are well paid and that their working conditions are conducive.

New learning area

The issue of nurses being overloaded with heavy tasks is becoming rampant. Therefore, since the Health Care Policy is undergoing major reforms, more than 30 million people are expected to enter the health care system. This will increase the number of people who need adequate care to be provided to them. Moreover, it has been noted that very few doctors are willing to provide primary care to patients. Nurses will therefore be overloaded with responsibilities of providing health care services to patients. It is therefore important for the government to ensure that health care institutions come up with measures which will ensure that nurses do not get overloaded while delivering health care services to their patients.


AL-Hussami, M. (2008). A Study of Nurses’ Job Satisfaction: The Relationship to Organizational Commitment, Perceived Organizational Support, Transactional Leadership, Transformational Leadership, and Level of Education. Web.

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Fickenscher, K. (2011). How healthcare reform affects nurses. Web.

Johnson, R. W. (2007). Multiple Factors Affect Job Satisfaction of Hospital RNs. Web.

Kettle, J. L. (n.d). Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction in the Registered Nurse. Web.

Ledue, C. (2008). Study: Nursing care cuts could have $4.2B impact. Web.

Murrells, T., Robinson, S., & Griffiths, P. (2008). Job satisfaction trends during nurses’ early career. Web.

Wainwright, N. (2012). Health Policy Issues for Nurse Practitioners. Web.

Weisman, C. S., Alexander, C. S., & Chase, G. A. (n.d). Job Satisfaction among Hospital Nurses: A Longitudinal Study. Web.

Wisegeek. (2012). What is Healthcare Policy? Web.