Original Study| Volume 11, ISSUE 4, P246-252, May 2010

The Relationship Between Workplace Environment and Job Satisfaction Among Nursing Assistants: Findings From a National Survey

  • Janice C. Probst
    Address correspondence to Janice C. Probst, PhD, South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, Department of Health Services Policy and Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 220 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 204, Columbia, SC 29210.
    South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, Department of Health Services Policy and Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
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  • Jong-Deuk Baek
    Division of Health Services Administration, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
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  • Sarah B. Laditka
    Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
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      To identify supervisory factors related to job satisfaction among certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Although this topic has been studied at the facility and state levels, it has not previously been addressed in a nationally representative sample.


      Cross-sectional analysis of data from the 2004 National Nursing Assistant Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.


      Nationally representative sample of nursing homes (n = 790).


      Eight randomly selected CNAs from each nursing home, 4 who had been at that job for less than 1 year and 4 at the job for a year or more (n = 3011). Analysis was limited to 2897 individuals working at the same facility when interviewed.


      Job satisfaction was measured by a 6-item score addressing workplace morale, challenging work, benefits, salary or wages, learning new skills, and overall satisfaction. Characteristics of the work environment included supervisor behavior, time pressures, organizational climate, perception that the CNA's work was valued, and whether the CNA principally cared for the same residents.


      In adjusted analysis, organizational climate, supervisor behavior, sufficient time for tasks, and being valued were positively associated with job satisfaction, as were hourly earnings.


      Clear communication from supervisors and evidence that the CNA function is valued were associated with job satisfaction. Specific strategies, such as merit raises and job design, may increase job satisfaction.


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