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Early Career Nurses: The relationship between Organisational Climate and Job Satisfaction and Burnout

In the changing New Zealand healthcare sector, the need for nurses to seamlessly and successfully transition into clinical practice is critical, particularly for organisational success. The worldwide nursing shortage and projected changing demographics of the population make assessing the job satisfaction and burnout of nurses imperative, especially to establish a strong and capable workforce for the future. If provisions are not put in place to ensure that nurses are provided with adequate support in their early careers and that they work within a positive organisational climate, detrimental organisational outcomes may arise. The current study was designed to identify early career nurses’ perceptions of their first two years of clinical practice, and how the organisational climate at a District Health Board (DHB) within New Zealand impacted on their success in clinical practice. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between three aspects of organisational climate (nursing relationships, charge nurse manager leadership, and staff organisation) on early career nurses’ perceptions of job satisfaction and burnout. Ninety-one individuals completed the mixed method survey. Significant relationships were found between the main study variables. Cohesive nursing relationships, supportive charge nurse managers, and the adequate organisation of staff were found to positively correlate with job satisfaction and negatively correlate with burnout. Significant themes emerged in thematic analysis; namely, supervisor support, emotional labour, workload and staffing relations. The results of the study suggest that a supportive organisational climate is imperative toward increasing nurse’s job satisfaction and positive feelings about their job. Additionally the findings of this study highlight that cohesive nursing relationships, team-building skills of charge nurse managers and the organisation of staff may be something to prioritise. Thematic analyses largely supported quantitative findings indicating that on the whole, nurses would like to receive more support from supervisors in addition to the emotional labour of nursing. High workloads were acknowledged as a challenging aspect of nursing that was believed to impact negatively on patient care and nurses’ work-life balance. Future research should consider the challenges associated with high burnout in nurses and, where appropriate, explore possible change initiatives. Additionally, a 360O review of nurses’ transition to clinical practice may be useful in highlighting the discrepancies between how nurses believe they fare in their early careers and how their nursing colleagues perceive their transition. Overall, this study explores the notions of organisational climate and its contribution to the development of proficient and able nurses. This study has provided a strong base for future research, specifically in helping to build a sustainable nursing workforce for the future. Taken together, this research provides a comprehensive review of nurses’ experience in their early careers, and importantly, outlines what aspects significantly contribute to their satisfaction.
Type of thesis
Were, K. J. (2016). Early Career Nurses: The relationship between Organisational Climate and Job Satisfaction and Burnout (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10616
University of Waikato
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