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Work Satisfaction Among Hospice and Palliative Nurses

Head, Barbara PhD, CHPN, ACSW, FPCN; Middleton, Alyssa MSSW; Zeigler, Craig PhD

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: October 2019 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p E1–E11
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000562
Online-Only Articles

Job satisfaction among hospice and palliative nurses is important as turnover and a dissatisfied workforce impact the work environment and the care provided to seriously ill patients and their families. This article reports the results of a nationwide survey of 633 hospice and palliative nurses evaluating job satisfaction, intent to leave, job stressors, suggested work improvements, and self-care strategies. Statistically significant correlations were found between the Home Healthcare Job Satisfaction Scale and subscales and the individual’s self-rating of overall job satisfaction, likelihood of leaving the job, and thoughts of quitting. Multiple regression revealed a significant positive association between salary and overall job satisfaction, relationship with the organization, professional pride, autonomy, and control. A grounded theory approach was utilized to analyze qualitative data. Top job stressors identified were workload and problems with administration. Physical activities were cited as the most popular for self-care. Results indicate that most participants were highly satisfied with their work, but almost half think of quitting some or all of the time, indicating dissatisfaction with the work environment. Respondents suggested that employers increase recognition and salary, create a more positive work environment, decrease workload, and focus on patient needs rather than profits.

Barbara Head, PhD, CHPN, ACSW, FPCN, is associate professor, Division of Internal Medicine, Palliative Care and Medical Education, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Kentucky.

Alyssa Middleton, MSSW, is doctoral student, Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville, Kentucky.

Craig Zeigler, PhD, is biostatistician, Office of Medical Education and Graduate Medical Education, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Kentucky.

Address correspondence to Barbara Head, PhD, Med Center One, Suite 330B, 501 East Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202 (

This study was made possible by a grant from the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Online date: April 8, 2019

© 2019 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.