Nurse Staffing: Job Satisfaction and Retention | Free Essay Example

Nurse Staffing: Job Satisfaction and Retention

Words: 1127
Topic: Health & Medicine

Article Review

Empirical and non-experimental studies play critical roles in the nursing practice and healthcare provision in general. As such, almost every element of evidence-based nursing practice is based on research. Most studies are published and are available in peer-reviewed journals as articles.

This paper reviews an article by Hairr, Salisbury, Johannsson, and Redfern-vance (2014), which is based on a study. The paper focuses on vital elements in the article, including research question(s), study design, the sample used in the study, limitations, and findings.

Research Questions

Hairr et al. (2014) highlighted the critical roles that nurse retention plays in healthcare provision. It is apparent that retaining nurses have a huge positive implication on patient’s outcome and efficiency in achieving organizational goals. Therefore, the authors sought to comprehend some of the factors that could be linked to high nurses’ retention. As such, their study was based on two research questions, including whether there was an association between nurse staffing and job satisfaction, and whether job satisfaction could be associated with nurse retention.

Research Design

Hairr et al. (2014) sought to examine relationships between variables. As such, they adopted a quantitative correlation research design to investigate whether there are associations between nurse-patient ratio and job satisfaction, and job satisfaction and nurse retention.

Research Sample

Sample Selection

The participants were selected on availability from social applications such as nursing listserv’s, Facebook, MySpace, and to form what is known as a consecutive sample.

It is worth noting that only practicing licensed registered nurses with not less than 6 months of critical healthcare provision were viable for selection.

Number and Demographics of Participants

The study sample comprised 59 females and 9 males, while 2 partakers did not disclose their genders totaling to 70 participants. While the youngest participant was aged 19, the 36-45 years age bracket had the highest frequency, with 15 participants making 21.4% of the whole sample. Concerning the education levels, the majority of the nurses (38) had attained associate degrees in nursing. The lowest level of education among the participants was diploma, and the highest was masters. The highest number of nurses (25) had nursing experience of more than 16 years.

Adequacy of the Sample

From the sample demographics discussed above, it could be argued that the sample was a representation of a significant section of practicing nurses. Nevertheless, the sample size was considerably small compared with the huge number of practicing nurses in the US. As such, the sample was not comprehensively adequate.

Data Collection

Data Collection Method

Contact between the researchers and the participants was online and, therefore, an electronic survey was used to collect data. Hairr et al. (2014) posted the survey online using SurveyMonkey, where an explanatory invitation was made. The online survey lasted 30 days, where available nurses responded to the provided question with the explanatory invitation.

Tool Used in Data Collection

In the study, the Nursing Work Index (NWI) survey tool was adopted. The NWI is commonly used in nursing studies, and it comprises 65 items, only 57 items were used in the study by Hairr et al. (2014), based on 4-point Likerttype scale where point 1 represents strongly agree and point 4 stands for strongly disagree (Hairr et al., 2014). It is worth noting that job satisfaction is among the nursing practice elements addressed by the NWI-R tool, especially by its Control Over Practice (COP) subscale (Hairr et al., 2014).

Others Pertinent Information Regarding Data Collection

It is worth noting that there were additional questions that followed-up the principal research questions where it was necessary. Some of the follow-up questions sought to reveal participants’ experiences with staff-patient ratio and job satisfaction. Moreover, the question was intended to establish whether factors such as economic downturn influenced decisions to stay in their jobs.

Study Limitations

The study by Hairr et al. (2014) was faced with a number of limitations that could be addressed in future studies to establish the correlation between the variables.

First, the size of consecutive sample was relatively small compared to the huge number of registered nurses in the US. Therefore, the determination of generalizability of the study and its findings cannot be made easily and comprehensively. As such, similar studies in the future should be based on wider samples.

Second, it could be argued that NWI’s COP subscale is relatively broad and, therefore, faces limitations in capturing job satisfaction in the most comprehensive way possible. The authors suggested the use of a more specific tool in future studies.


After the data analysis, the results to the two result questions were obtained. For the first question, “a weak positive relationship between COP and nurse staffing was identified, (59) = 0.33, p = 0.01, two-tailed” (p. 145). As such, there is a relationship between nurse staffing and job satisfaction, where nurses that serve fewer patients are likely to be more satisfied compared with overworked nurses.

For the second research question, “a moderately strong negative correlation was demonstrated, p (59) = -0.43, p = 0.01, two-tailed” (p. 145). Therefore, there are higher chances that dissatisfied nurses would quit their jobs than nurses with high job satisfaction.


Hairr et al. (2014) were concerned with addressing the problems related to nurse retention. They suggested that losing nurses has far-reaching detrimental effects on patient outcomes and the economy. Therefore, the authors sought to establish the relationship between nurse staffing, and job satisfaction and the association between job satisfaction and nurse retention. After carrying out an online survey among 70 participants, it was evident that proper nurse staffing could improve job satisfaction and that job satisfaction could increase nurse retention and consequently augment patient outcome while reducing the loss of funds.

Implication of the Study on the Nursing Practice

Hairr et al. (2014) asserted that their findings could be useful in nurse staffing decision-making processes. The findings were in line with the recommendations of having a nurse-patient ratio of 4:1 or less to improve job satisfaction and improve retention for augmented outcomes and reduced financial losses. However, it is imperative that the limitations faced in this study are addressed in future studies, especially limitations pertaining sample size and generalizability.


Proper nurse staffing has been linked to improved job satisfaction, which in turn has been associated with high nurse retention. This paper has reviewed an article that was based on a study designed to investigate the relationships between nurse staffing, job satisfaction, and nurse retention. The authors of the article used a quantitative correlation online survey among 70 and it was evident that nurses working in properly staffed hospitals have higher job satisfaction and are less likely to quit their jobs.

The article’s findings could be reinforced by research with a wider sample and be used to influence decision-making processes in the nursing practice.


Hairr, D. C., Salisbury, H., Johannsson, M., & Redfern-vance, N. (2014). Nurse staffing and the relationship to job satisfaction and retention. Nursing Economics, 32(3), 142-147.