n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Job satisfaction and retention of nurses in the South African labour market

Volume 32, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



There is a paucity of research on job satisfaction among nurses and the factors that lead to the retention of nurses in both the public and the private sectors in South Africa. A descriptive survey using a self-administered pretested questionnaire included a random sample of professional nurses from the South African Nursing Council's database. In all 297 professional nurses participated. Two-thirds were less than satisfied with their working environment and related factors. There were higher satisfaction levels among private sector nurses than among their public sector counterparts. Pay and workload have been identified as the factors causing most dissatisfaction for both public and private sector nurses. Patient care and relationships with other nurses have been identified as the most satisfying factor by both sectors. Significant relationships were found between ethnic group, province, future work plans and the sector of employment. Nurses are pivotal to the effective and efficient delivery of healthcare in South Africa and the chronic shortage of nurses is a threat to the future of healthcare. It is imperative for healthcare managers to identify and address factors that interfere with job satisfaction and militate against the retention of nurses.

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