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First Advisor

Donald E. Gelfand


During the past 20 years, there have been cyclical shortages of hospital nurses. The current shortage has reached acute levels and has resulted in nurses carrying arduous caseloads, as well as fulfilling responsibilities associated with job enlargement. Previous research has indicated that the job satisfaction levels of hospital nurses are of principal importance in terms of retention rates. Previous research also has depicted the relationship between workplace communication processes, performance efficacy and job satisfaction. This dissertation focused on predicting the job satisfaction levels of hospital nurses in Detroit and Metropolitan Detroit. A fundamental component of this dissertation entailed the utilization of a measurement instrument that recently was formulated to assess workplace incivility. The procedure for administering the scale was modified so that nurses' relationships with immediate supervisors and coworkers could be assessed separately as predictors of job satisfaction. Results from the two scales were combined so that the cumulative effects of supervisory and coworker incivility could be assessed relative to the dependent measure. Moreover, job satisfaction was assessed by standardized instrumentation measuring role conflict and role ambiguity, as well as perceived performance efficacy. Demographic variables and organizational indicators also were incorporated into the analyses. Nonprobability sampling techniques and ordinary least squares regression were utilized in the study (n = 241). Two organizations participated in the study---a large Detroit-based hospital and a professional nurses' association. Observations were derived from the overall sample, as well as by comparative analysis of the two organizations participating in the study. The scale measuring role conflict and role ambiguity was a statistically significant predictor of nurses' job satisfaction levels in all regression applications, as was performance efficacy. These two variables were the foremost predictors of nurses' job satisfaction levels as assessed by standardized betas. For the most part, supervisory incivility was not significantly related to the dependent measure. Coworker incivility and cumulative incivility were highly nonsignificant predictors of job satisfaction in multivariate analyses. Race was a highly significant predictor of the criterion variable, as Whites were consistently more satisfied with their jobs than were Nonwhites. In addition, nurses employed at the large Detroit-based hospital were less satisfied with their jobs than were members of the professional nurses' association. This finding was statistically significant in all comparative analyses. The results have implications for formulating and implementing strategies to alleviate the nursing shortage.

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