Exploring the relationship between self reported level of clinical expertise and job satisfaction in critical care nurses
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There is a recognized nursing shortage in Canada, including specialty areas such as critical care (CC). Nursing shortages impact health care delivery, including economic, patient, and nursing outcomes. Job satisfaction is one of the most significant outcomes affected by the nursing shortage. Recruitment of inexperienced nurses in CC is a relatively new hiring practice and has resulted in a more diverse level of clinical expertise among CC nurses. Little is known about how differences in level of clinical expertise affect job satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between CC nurses’ self -reported level of clinical expertise and job satisfaction. Interrelationships between additional influencing factors, such as organizational climate and personal factors were also explored. Utilizing a web based online survey, a cross-sectional survey was sent to all 788 Manitoba hospital based CC nurses, via the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. Respondents (N = 188) completed the Critical Care Nurse Retention Survey, which operationalized the key study variables. Sixty-five percent of the sample reported overall job satisfaction. Based on multivariate analysis, the most influential factors affecting CC nurses’ job satisfaction were nursing management, control over practice, and level of clinical expertise. Nursing management plays a vital role in facilitating optimal nursing practice. Control and autonomy may reflect a sense of satisfaction in the achievement of the knowledge and skills necessary for effective decision-making in CC. Finally, this study provides pioneering data on the importance of advancing clinical expertise to improve job satisfaction in CC nurses.