Today, individuals spend much of their time at the workplace, and theorists argue that an individual's employment experience is an integral part of his or her social identity. Current research emphasizes the importance of job satisfaction to a person's entire life adjustment. Yet little data exists about the job satisfaction of nurses working in the advanced practice role of primary care. The purposes of this article's study were to describe those individual and situational factors that contribute to job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among nurse practitioners, and to explore the relationship between levels of job satisfaction and characteristics of primary health care practitioners' work/practice settings. The study results suggest that, overall, NPs demonstrate a high level of job satisfaction; only 9 percent reported overall dissatisfaction with their jobs. Autonomy, sense of accomplishment and time spent in patient care ranked as the top three factors contributing to job satisfaction. The highest ranked dissatisfier was salary. Differences in satisfaction existed according to several practice-setting characteristics. Fewer factors than initially expected were associated with overall job satisfaction. The correlates that were noted, however, identified number of years of experience and self-perceived skill levels as important variables contributing to overall job satisfaction. Implications of these findings for the early guidance of practitioners assuming the advanced-practice role and for the NP educational curriculum are discussed.
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