Job demand, job control, and support: A comparison of three nursing work environments
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In an environment where there is a nursing shortage coupled with recruitment and retention problems (Buerhaus et al., 2006a, 2006b; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2004), it is imperative to consider specific work place characteristics that have a significant effect on nurses' levels of satisfaction, commitment, and motivation. This study examined relationships between job demand, job control, and support and compared their combined effect on nurses' level of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and motivation in three nursing work environments including hospital, nursing home, and community home health care. Secondary data from a study conducted by Kovner and Brewer (2006) examining the work participation of a national sample of registered nurses in the United States was used for this study. Eight subscales were used to measure the independent variables of job demand, job control (skill variety, decision authority), and support (supervisor support and coworker support) and the dependent variables of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and motivation. This study used the demand-control-support model (Johnson & Hall, 1988; Karasek, 1979; Karasek & Theorell, 1990). Hierarchical regression analyses were used to examine the direct and interactional effects of job demand, job control, and support on the dependent variables of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and motivation, ANCOVA was used to compare the differences between work environments; and path analyses examined the direct and indirect relationships between job demand, job variety, decision authority, supervisor support, coworker support, and job satisfaction and organizational commitment. An examination and comparison of both the job strain situation and the active job situation in three different work environments is relevant as few comparisons between nursing work environments have been carried out. According to Buerhaus et al. (2005), a majority of registered nurses believe that improving the work environment is one strategy that would help resolve the nursing shortage. As such, additional research is needed to examine and compare job characteristics and their effect on nurses' level of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and motivation in different work settings (Coomber & Barriball, 2007).