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Job satisfaction and role conflict among community health nurses Tomich, Margaret Ann Urquhart


A descriptive correlation design was used to assess the level of job satisfaction and role conflict of community health nurses in the province of British Columbia, and to examine the relationship between these two constructs and age, length of job tenure, experience in nursing, and educational background. Although other studies have reported on decreased levels of job satisfaction among American community health nurses, decreased job satisfaction among community health nurses in British Columbia has not been associated with increased personnel turnover. This relationship between job satisfaction and turnover rate was inconsistent with that found among hospital nurses and community health nurses in the United States. The role episode model (Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, & Rosenthal, 1964) was used as a framework for the study. The findings from the data collected through a mail-out survey using the McCloskey/Mueller Satisfaction Scale (MMSS) (Mueller & McCloskey, 1990) and the Abridged Role Questionnaire (Rizzo, House, & Lirtzman, 1970). The data from a total of 123 mail-out surveys was used in the analysis. The community health nurses were satisfied in their work role and had moderate levels of role conflict. They were most satisfied with the measures of scheduling, extrinsic rewards, and coworkers. They were least satisfied with the measures of control and responsibility, balance of family and work, and professional opportunities. Praise and recognition, and control and responsibility were found to have the greatest impact on the nurses' ability to adapt to role conflict. Balance of family and work, and professional opportunities were found to have a minimal impact. However, role conflict was reduced by an increase in satisfaction with any of the measures. The community health nurse's level of role conflict was not influenced by age, length of job tenure, educational background, or experience in nursing. However, the greater the age, the greater the satisfaction with extrinsic rewards; the lower the educational preparation, the greater the satisfaction with control and responsibility; and, the greater the length of job tenure, the greater the satisfaction with professional opportunities. The knowledge about the factors that influence job satisfaction of community health nurses reported in this study will assist community health nurses to substantiate job needs to their employers. In addition, it will benefit nurse managers in maintaining sources of job satisfaction, foster job development needs, and reduce forces that lead to role conflict.

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