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Physical Work Environment

Testing an Expanded Model of Job Satisfaction in a Sample of Registered Nurses

Djukic, Maja; Kovner, Christine; Budin, Wendy C.; Norman, Robert

doi: 10.1097/NNR.0b013e3181fb2f25

Background: The impact of personal, organizational, and economic factors on nurses' job satisfaction have been studied extensively, but few studies exist in which the effects of physical work environment-including perceptions of architectural, interior design, and ambient features on job satisfaction-are examined.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of perceived physical work environment on job satisfaction, adjusting for multiple personal, organizational, and economic determinants of job satisfaction.

Methods: A cross-sectional, predictive design and a Web-based survey instrument were used to collect data from staff registered nurses in a large metropolitan hospital. The survey included 34 questions about multiple job satisfaction determinants, including 18 Likert-type measures with established good validity (comparative fit index = .97, Tucker-Lewis index = .98, root mean square error of approximation = .06) and reliability (r ≥ .70).

Results: A response rate of 48.5% resulted in a sample of 362, with 80% power to detect a medium effect of perceived physical environment on job satisfaction. On average, nurses had negative perceptions of physical work environment (M = 2.9, SD = 2.2). Although physical environment was related positively to job satisfaction (r =.256, p = .01) in bivariate analysis, in ordered probit regression, no effect of physical work environment on job satisfaction was found.

Discussion: In future studies, this relationship should be examined in larger and more representative samples of nurses. Qualitative methods should be used to explore how negatively perceived physical work environment impacts nurses. Rebuilding of U.S. hospitals, with a planned investment of $200 billion without considering how physical environment contributes to nurse work outcomes, threatens to exacerbate organizational nurse turnover.

Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, is Assistant Professor; Christine Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor, New York University College of Nursing; Wendy C. Budin, PhD, RN-BC, is Director of Nursing Research, NYU Langone Medical Center, and Adjunct Professor, New York University College of Nursing; Robert Norman, PhD, is Research Associate Professor, Basic Sciences, College of Dentistry, New York University.

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Accepted for publication September 1, 2010.

This study was supported in part by the Upsilon chapter of Sigma Theta Tau research grant award and the Mary Clark Rockefeller Fellowship. The authors thank all the registered nurses who participated in the study. They also thank Dr Carol Brewer for her collaboration and access to the survey instrument from the New Graduate Registered Nurse Panel Survey study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Corresponding author: Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, New York University College of Nursing, 726-730 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003 (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.