A study of job satisfaction levels of staff nurses working in prison physical health teams

Wraith, Lisa (2017) A study of job satisfaction levels of staff nurses working in prison physical health teams. Masters dissertation, University of Cumbria. Item availability may be restricted.

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Aim: This dissertation will investigate job satisfaction of band 5 staff nurses within physical health teams in prisons in England. This will be a primary research study and will identify overall job satisfaction levels of nurses; and the key contributing factors to job satisfaction.

Background: Recruitment and retention is becoming increasingly more difficult both locally and at other prisons in England. This is especially in the case of registered adult nurses employed as staff nurses. Recruitment and retention of nurses within prisons will continue to be of concern as recruitment issues within nursing exist nationally as well as within health and justice. Nursing shortage is not only isolated to the UK, this is a concern internationally and is strongly linked to job satisfaction.

Methods: This dissertation is a mixed method primary research study which will utilise a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods collating data through a combination of questionnaires and 1:1 interviews. A mixed method approach was chosen to provide complementary insights lead to the identification of new problems and possible solutions utilising qualitative methods to contextualise quantitative results (Chan, 2001). The Index of Work Satisfaction (IWS) part B (Stamps, 1997) is a commonly used tool for measuring job satisfaction. The tool which is a reliable and consistent data was used to establish areas of good or poor satisfaction within six components relating to job satisfaction. The qualitative element of the primary research was conducted using semi structured interviewing based upon the six components within the questionnaire; pay, autonomy, task requirements, professional status, interaction, and organisational policy. Transcripts of the interviews were thematically analysed for themes and sub themes.

Results: The quantitative methodology utilised a questionnaire of 44 items from the IWS part B, representing statements about the degree of job satisfaction the participants have in their role as band 5 staff nurses. The responses were descriptively analysed using the IWS hand book (Moyer, 2009). The level of job satisfaction amongst band 5 nurses working in prison physical health teams was 3.4 out of a possible score of 5. The higher the mean score the higher the level of job satisfaction (Wai-Tong and Yick, 2016). The variables with the highest bearing of job satisfaction were interaction, both nurse- nurse and nurse- doctor and also professional status. The lowest ranked component suggesting the least levels of satisfaction was pay. Thematic analysis of the transcripts of four interviews utilising a method advised by Braun and Clark (2006) revealed 102 significant statements. 43 sub themes that were identified from the significant statements. 20 of these subthemes could be associated motivational factors influencing job satisfaction; 23 of the sub themes identified demotivational factors. From the subthemes five themes emerged which allowed the depiction of the key impacts upon job satisfaction to band 5 prison nurses. These themes were professional relationships; caring environment; benefits, and rewards; responsibility, autonomy, and professional growth; and coordination management and leadership.

Conclusion: The results from this primary research study were coherent with previous literature in this field; the research concluded that Band 5 prison nurses are moderately satisfied with their jobs, this is in line with nurses’ levels of job satisfaction internationally. The research found interaction is a factor which for nurses in all areas positively contributes to job satisfaction. The research concluded that collaboration with doctors, supportive practice environments, supportive managers and levels of autonomy granted by managers were factors prison nurses felt contributed positively towards job satisfaction. Professional status despite being a higher mean score in the quantitative research is a cause for concerns for nurses in prisons as they feel they are not respected by patients, external healthcare providers or prison staff. Prison nurses are happy with the variety and nature of their tasks and do enjoy patient face to face interaction however they fell they lack time to give the holistic care that they aspire to due to the conflicting regime of the prison. Pay is an issue for nurses internationally and not specific to prison nursing, although some nurses feel that they should get more pay for working in a perceived higher risk environment.

Implications for practice: Job satisfaction levels Impact upon recruitment and retention according to O’Keeffe (2015) therefore it is important for managers to find ways to improve job satisfaction levels for band 5 nurses working within prisons. The factors which are found to be contributing to the higher levels of job satisfaction such as interaction, professional status and autonomy need to be maintained. Nurse managers need to open up communication amongst health professionals encourage interaction and collaboration. Improving relationships with prison staff to promote the healthcare team, increasing respect for nurses therefore allowing nurses to feel they are supported to do their job. Access to continuing professional development is seen as an alternative to economic remuneration, there should also be opportunities for more feedback of a positive nature from patients and families.

Limitations and Future Research: 1. The sample was a convenience sample; 2. The sample group was small; 3. Responses were only received from one category of prison. Due to the very small response for both the quantitative and qualitative parts of the research. As this primary research study designed has been designed so that it can be replicated by anyone, this dissertation can be utilised as a pilot study that could be repeated in order to increase understanding of job satisfaction in prison nursing further still.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Masters)
Departments: Academic Departments > Nursing, Health & Professional Practice (NHPP)
Additional Information: Dissertation submitted in part fulfilment for MSc Advanced Practice.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2017 09:54
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 15:32
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3295
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