Nurses and Work Satisfaction: An Index for Measurement

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9781567930610: Nurses and Work Satisfaction: An Index for Measurement
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Job enrichment, decreased turnover, cost savings, greater productivity, and improved patient care-all depend on employee satisfaction.

Paula Stamps' Index of Work Satisfaction is one of the best known and most widely used tools to measure nurses' response to their work. This long-awaited second edition represents more than two decades worth of experience using this measurement tool. Included are abstracts of more than 20 research projects that show how the tool has been used not only to understand the nursing profession, but to redesign processes and improve patient care. The book also provides a network of researchers who have used the Index.

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From the Author:

What inspired you to write this book? "I would have never written the second edition of this book if it had not been for those people using the Index of Work Satisfaction (IWS) calling me and asking me for more information about other kinds of research being done with the IWS. I was not very efficient at networking for people: often I would know of similar research, but I wouldn't be able to find it in my office filing cabinet! Also, increasingly, people would call me up with questions about norms. This use made me a little nervous, as I wasn't completely sure the IWS was still relevant. So I had a strong motive to survey the users of the scale to see if they thought it was still relevant and to see how they are using it. Something which is much better with this version of the book over the first one is that I have re-written the scoring manual, so it is much more understandable than before. The biggest complaint I got from users of the scale was the scoring, so I hope I have corrected this."

Which chapters/concepts are most important? "This is very tough, of course, since all authors think everything is important and so do I. I guess one very important concept is the idea that if nurse satisfaction is important, then we should be very careful to measure it accurately. I really believe that nurse satisfaction should be used as a quality indicator, and that this should be as important as patient satisfaction, which is commonly used now. I also believe that the measure for nurse satisfaction has to be simple enough to be used in a management system, but it also has to be valid, since decisions will be made using this measure. The scale is designed to be a tool used to improve the working conditions of nurses, by assessing the impact of redesigning nursing work arrangements."

What do you hope is the book's potential impact? "First of all, I think that this book helps those doing research on nurse satisfaction get in touch with each other and I think that will improve the quality of work done-there are lots of people investigating very interesting questions and their research is not being published. There are many reasons for this, including that much of the research being done now is under the supervision of managers who are doing evaluation research. For example, they may be assessing the impact of a shared governance system on nursing turnover. They are trying to solve real problems and are not thinking of the academic world. This book allows some of this unpublished work to be shared with others, which is something I feel really good about. I have been very impressed with the scope and quality of the research being done. I have heard that the ANA is suggesting the IWS as a quality indicator, which will probably increase the use of the IWS in hospitals. I would like to be able to implement the national database, but so far few researchers have been interested. (Maybe the ANA itself should do this. I would really like to hear from someone in the ANA about this, by the way. I have only heard about this from others.) The establishment of a national data base and the identification of acceptable standards for nurse satisfaction would obviously have a major impact on the field."

Other thoughts: "Even though IWS is being used a lot, I think it is important to remember that nurse satisfaction is an area that still needs to be researched. I am always a little nervous about measuring attitudes and it is important to remember that attitude scales do age, especially as the nursing environment changes.

Review:

"The book provides an excellent overview of job satisfaction research as well as in-depth information about the Index of Work Satisfaction tool. The comprehensive theory review and methodological details of the tool's development make the book a valuable reference." -- Claudia L. Johnston, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Professor and Coordinator, Graduate Programs, Texas A&M University

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