The Charge Nurse: Job Attitudes and Occupational Stability

  • Sally J. Redfern

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Charge Nurses (CNs) from two general hospitals provided information about their work through the media of attitude scales, questionnaires and individual interviews, Investigation was made of the relationship between the CNs' attitudes and perceptions of their jobs and their satisfactoriness and withdrawal.

Aspects of the job considered important by the CNs were, on the whole, provided by the organization, although if the needs - rewards discrepancy on pay and the competence of the nursing officer in training the staff were reduced, then dissatisfaction would decrease. Enabling the CN to make greater use of her abilities and to have some influence over appropriate hospital policies and practices would reduce her propensity to leave.

The level of job satisfaction was high although there was some dissatisfaction with environmental aspects. Perceived role conflict
and job related tension were relatively high particularly with respect to the workload and organizational support. Role ambiguity did not emerge as a significant problem.

Propensity to stay, role clarity and short tenure were, in combination, related to job satisfaction, and low satisfaction and high role clarity predicted propensity to leave. The positive relationship of role clarity to both satisfaction and propensity to leave is explained in terms of challenge and job tenure.

Twenty eight percent of the sample left during the eighteen months following questionnaire administration, and the median tenure
was twenty months, This suggests a strong 'mobility culture' in hospital CNs, Leavers gave lower scores on extrinsic but not intrinsic satisfaction, and higher scores on job-related tension, role conflict and propensity to leave.

The value and limitations of using the methods employed in this study have been discussed and suggestions have been given for the design of further research in this area.
Date of AwardMay 1979
Original languageEnglish


  • nurses
  • satisfaction
  • role stress
  • turnover

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