An Exploration of Nursing Assistants' Perceptions About Job Satisfaction

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Abstract

High levels of staff turnover of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are costly and disruptive to patient care. A variety of factors contribute to a 36% turnover rate of CNAs nationwide (2015 Staffing Report, 2015). According to Stone and Wiener, high rates of turnover and staff vacancies have multilayered consequences; patient care suffers, cost of constantly replacing workers soars, and worker job dissatisfaction increases. This study examined the CNAs' beliefs about job satisfaction as an approach to prevent job turnover and retain high achieving staff in one acute care hospital in a south eastern region. The goal was to determine how CNAs define job satisfaction, evaluate their understanding of and gauge interest in the career options presented at information sessions as well as listen to their ideas on how they believe are the best approaches to achieve job satisfaction for the CNAs at this facility. A qualitative key informant design was used to interview a purposive sample of 9 nursing assistants who were currently employed at the hospital for at least 6 months and who attended a brief information session. Individual 20-minute face-to-face interviews of consented participants were recorded, transcribed, and coded for themes using constant comparative analysis. Four major categories emerged from the interviews: CNA views of job satisfaction, clinical ladder option, support services option, and what CNAs want.

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