Format of Original
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
American Journal of Critical Care
BACKGROUND: High levels of stress and the challenges of meeting the complex needs of critically ill children and their families can threaten job satisfaction and cause turnover in nurses. OBJECTIVE: To explore the influences of nurses' attributes, unit characteristics, and elements of the work environment on the job satisfaction of nurses in pediatric critical care units and to determine stressors that are unique to nurses working in pediatric critical care. METHOD: A cross-sectional survey design was used. The sample consisted of 1973 staff nurses in pediatric critical care units in 65 institutions in the United States and Canada. The following variables were measured: nurses' perceptions of group cohesion, job stress, nurse-physician collaboration, nursing leadership, professional job satisfaction, and organizational work satisfaction. RESULTS: Significant associations (r = -0.37 to r = -0.56) were found between job stress and group cohesion, professional job satisfaction, nurse-physician collaboration, nursing leadership behaviors, and organizational work satisfaction. Organizational work satisfaction was positively correlated (r = 0.35 to r = 0.56) with group cohesion, professional job satisfaction, nurse-physician collaboration, and nursing leadership behaviors. Job stress, group cohesion, job satisfaction, nurse-physician collaboration, and nursing leadership behaviors explained 52% of the variance in organizational work satisfaction. Dealing with patients' families was the most frequently cited job stressor. CONCLUSIONS: Job stress and nursing leadership are the most influential variables in the explanation of job satisfaction. Retention efforts targeted toward management strategies that empower staff to provide quality care along with focal interventions related to the diminishment of stress caused by nurse-family interactions are warranted.