This research used Herzberg et al.'s two-factor theory as a framework with which to examine job satisfaction in a sample of 161 registered psychiatric nurses in the states of Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts (USA). Weiss et al.'s Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire short form was used to measure possible relationships between ability utilization, compensation, co-workers, achievement and job satisfaction. Findings support Herzberg et al.'s theory, showing moderate correlations among nurses' ability utilization, achievement and job satisfaction. Mean general satisfaction of respondents was closer to satisfied than neutral; respondents indicated greatest satisfaction with ability utilization (86%) and achievement (83%); 67% were satisfied with co-workers, and 52% with compensation. Respondents were least satisfied with compensation, with 14% indicating that they were very dissatisfied. Although compensation was an issue, it is possible that other factors, such as safety, management conflict, and balancing the needs of job and family, if addressed, may help increase job satisfaction and retention of psychiatric nursing staff.