The Effects of Entry Level Education and Length of Employment on Staff Nurse Need Satisfaction
Johnston-Hanson, Kimberly S.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in employment need satisfaction between hospital staff nurses prepared at the baccalaureate and those prepared at the associate level. In addition, study examined the influence of length of employment on need satisfaction. The random sample consisted of 400 registered nurses working in five counties of Iowa. The modified Porter Need Satisfaction Index and Demographic Questionnaire were mailed to these subjects. Forty-four baccalaureate prepared and 29 associate prepared nurses met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Statistical analysis of the research hypotheses failed to determine statistically significant differences in all need satisfaction categories based solely on educational preparation. Baccalaureate prepared nurses working 6 or more years were found to be significantly less satisfied with the need for self actualization than those working 0-5 years. No significant differences were found in need satisfaction based on the interaction of education and length of employment. Both individual and organizational differences may have contributed to the lack of significance found. Also, a small sample size may have contributed to these findings. Descriptive analysis was performed for need satisfaction and need importance of associate and baccalaureate prepared nurses. Because similarities were found in the ranking of needs for the associate and baccalaureate prepared nurses, nurse educators need to evaluate these findings to determine the need to include need satisfaction in their curriculum. Implications for nursing management include promoting strategies that may improve the esteem, autonomy, and actualization of practicing nurses. Because satisfaction has been closely linked to productivity, these changes may improve the quality of nursing care and ultimately benefit the consumer.
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