Our results focus on the nurses who were employed at the time of the survey and provided information related to burnout (n = 68; 724) and job satisfaction (n = 68; 488). provides descriptive information related to burnout and job satisfaction for nine groups of nurses defined by their work setting (hospital, nursing home, and other settings) and their role (direct patient care, no direct patient care, and nonnursing roles) within each setting.
Percentage Of Nurses Dissatisfied And Burned Out, By Setting And Role, 2006–07
SETTING OF EMPLOYMENT
Roughly half (51 percent) of the nurses who were employed were providing direct patient care in hospitals. Nurses providing direct patient care and working in hospitals and nursing homes were statistically significantly more likely than nurses in other settings to express dissatisfaction with their jobs and to report feeling burned out. For example, of nurses providing direct patient care, 24 percent of hospital nurses and 27 percent of nursing home nurses reported dissatisfaction in their current jobs, compared to only 13 percent of nurses working in other settings. Similarly, 34 percent of hospital nurses and 37 percent of nursing home nurses reported feeling burned out in their current jobs, compared to 22 percent of nurses working in other settings.
Within settings, a significantly higher percentage of direct care nurses reported being dissatisfied and burned out in their jobs compared to nurses in the same setting but not working with patients or not working as nurses. The exception to this involved burnout among nurses working in nursing homes, which was high for nurses in all nursing home roles, but the differences were not statistically significant.
We also found that among nurses providing direct patient care, 36 percent of nurses in hospitals and 47 percent of nurses in nursing homes, compared to only 21 percent of nurses in other settings, reported that their workload caused them to miss important changes in their patients’ condition. Similar percentages of hospital nurses and nursing home nurses providing direct patient care reported that their workload caused them to fail to report important information about patients during shift changes.
JOB SATISFACTION AND BURNOUT
shows, for the same nine groups of nurses, differences in their satisfaction with specific aspects of their jobs, ranging from salaries and benefits to their perception of the levels of independence and professional status accorded them. Across all domains, nurses working in nursing homes and providing direct patient care exhibited the highest degree of dissatisfaction, followed by hospital nurses providing direct patient care.
Nurses’ Dissatisfaction With Specific Aspects Of Their Jobs, By Setting And Role, 2006–07
Nurses also registered discontent with their health care and retirement benefits. Large proportions of hospital (41 percent) and nursing home (51 percent) nurses who provide direct patient care were dissatisfied with their health care benefits. Nearly 60 percent of nurses in nursing homes and half of nurses in hospitals providing direct patient care were dissatisfied with their retirement benefits.
We were able to use our data to characterize the environment in which hospital nurses work. One-third of nurses practicing in hospitals with poor environments were dissatisfied; in contrast, only 17 percent of nurses practicing in hospitals with better environments were dissatisfied (). Differences for burnout, although not quite as pronounced, were similarly large and statistically significant. shows that better work environments affect the satisfaction of hospital nurses providing direct patient care across all aspects of their jobs. The percentages of nurses who were very satisfied with their salaries, benefits, and other aspects of their work were significantly higher—in some cases, nearly twice as high—in hospitals with better work environments compared to hospitals with poor environments. In all cases, the percentage of nurses who were dissatisfied was highest in the hospitals with poor environments.
Percentage Of Dissatisfied And Burned-Out Nurses Providing Direct Patient Care In Hospitals With Better, Mixed, And Poor Work Environments, 2006–07
Percentage Of Nurses Dissatisfied With Specific Aspects Of Their Jobs In Hospitals With Better, Mixed, And Poor Work Environments, 2006–07
We also examined the association between nurse burnout and job satisfaction, on the one hand, and patient satisfaction measured by the HCAHPS survey ratings of the hospital, on the other hand. In unadjusted models, as well as those adjusted for structural and organizational characteristics of the hospital, nurse burnout and job satisfaction had a statistically significant effect on patient satisfaction. In adjusted models, the percentage of patients who would definitely recommend the hospital to friends or family decreased by about 2 percent for every 10 percent of nurses at the hospital reporting dissatisfaction with their job, even after the effects of the work environment and nurse staffing (which also had significant effects) and a variety of hospital characteristics were controlled for. The effects were similar for the association between high burnout and the percentage of patients who gave the hospital a high rating.