Satisfaction of the Novice to Expert Nurse: Calling, Career, or Calamity?

Dana L. Dalton, Gardner-Webb University


The purpose of this research study was to determine the current level of job satisfaction for the novice to competent nurse with 0-5 years of clinical nursing experience as well as to determine what factors most affected overall level of job satisfaction. This study utilized a quantitative descriptive design to evaluate the overall level of job satisfaction in the participants as well as identify factors that contributed to their job satisfaction. The results of the study identified that nurses with 0-5 years of nursing experience reported their level of total job satisfaction at 142.14, which per the Spector Job Satisfaction Scale equates to ambivalence in their overall level of satisfaction. The score is 1.86 points below the required total score of 144, which is the requirement for a result of satisfaction in the participant's job. The survey also identified the factors of work life balance, monetary gain, and helping others as the most important factors to their overall level of job satisfaction. The results of this survey indicated that there is needed improvement in the areas of work conditions, pay, benefits, contingent rewards, and communication to move the 0-5 year nursing group into the range of satisfied with their current jobs. The need for further research and development within the factors that affect nursing satisfaction and retention is evident if we are to meet the growing needs of America's health care consumers, as well as move nursing practice to the level of competence in practice that will recognize us for the experts in caring that we as a profession are meant to be.