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To investigate whether demographic variables and work-related factors predict work motivation in Greek nurses.Nurses' motivation is crucial for an effective health-care system. Herzberg's and Maslow's motivation theories constitute the framework of this study.The sample consisted of 200 nurses from every sector and registration level in a University Hospital in Greece. The response rate was 76%.A previously developed and validated questionnaire addressing four work-related motivators (job attributes, remuneration, co-workers and achievements) on a five-point Likert scale.Most participants were women, married, between 36 years and 45 years old and higher education graduates. The highest mean score was recorded for ‘achievements’ (mean 4.07, SD 0.72), which emerged as the most important motivator. Job satisfaction, work sector and age were statistically significantly related to motivational factors.Nurses placed emphasis on motivators not strictly relating to economic rewards, but which can be seen as intrinsic and could lead to self-actualization.The constantly changing health sector requires that human resources and job context be a priority for health administrators. By promoting nurses' satisfaction and efficacy, an improvement in service quality is expected.