Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Cindy Miller

Abstract

Despite the slight ease of the nursing shortage due to the current recession, the United States is expected to still have a shortage of approximately 260,000 registered nurses by the year 2025 (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011). Healthcare is an ever changing profession where nurses, no matter their generation, must learn to adapt to their constantly changing environment and expectations. Job satisfaction is a strong and constant predictor of retention and can vary greatly across generations. The purpose of this study was to get insight into generational differences related to job satisfaction and to use these data to increase clarity concerning retention approaches specific to these generations. The organizing framework was based on Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory. The study participants were registered nurses who have had at least three months experience in the critical care setting at their current organization. Spearman's Correlation was used to determine relationships between their generation of birth and certain factors of their job satisfaction along with their overall job satisfaction. The data provided support that there is a significant relationship between overall job satisfaction and the registered nurse's birth year. These data also points out windows of opportunities for improvement for certain categories among the specific generations in question.

Recommendations for further research include using a broader sample incorporating various regions of the United States and facilities of larger size. Determining how the different generations perceive their working environments is the first step in developing a plan and strategies to improve their overall satisfaction leading to improved retention.

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