The present study examines the scope of nursing unions and the relationship with turnover and job satisfaction among RNs.
There is no recent empirical literature documenting evidence on workplace performance measures (turnover and job satisfaction) among unionized nurses at the national level.
This cross-sectional study analyzed secondary data (n = 43 960), the 2018 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses.
Approximately 16% of the sample reported being represented by labor unions. The overall nursing turnover rate for the sample was 12.8%. Unionized nurses were less likely than their counterparts to report turnover (mean, 10.9% vs 13.16%; P = 0.02) and less job satisfaction (mean, 3.20 vs 3.28). Union nurses were more likely than nonunion nurses to be male (12.72% vs 9.46%; P = 0.0004), minorities (37.65% vs 25.67%, P < 0.001), be employed in hospital settings (70.1% vs 57.9%, P = 0.001), but report fewer hours of work per week (mean, 36.73 vs 37.66; P = 0.003). Regression results revealed a positive association between union status and nursing turnover (odds ratio, 0.83; P < 0.05), whereas union status was inversely associated with job satisfaction (B = −0.13, P < 0.001) after adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, care coordination time per week, weekly hours of work, and employment settings.
Overall, job satisfaction was high among all nurses, regardless of union membership. However, when comparing specifically union and nonunion members, unionized nurses were less likely to report turnover, but were more likely to experience job dissatisfaction.