n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - The relationship between burnout and job satisfaction among registered nurses at an academic hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


Rationalisation and deployment have become features of organisational restructuring in South African academic hospitals, and might be sources of dissatisfaction and stress among nurses. Job satisfaction levels and work-related burnout are important determinants of nurses' retention and turnover rates and might adversely affect their work performance and the quality of nursing care rendered. The purpose of this study was to determine registered nurses' (RNs) satisfaction with factors in their work environment and whether these correlated with burnout experiences.

Quantitative data were collected from a random sample of RNs ( = 165), using a Job Satisfaction Scale and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). Data were analysed using Chi-square (X2) and Fisher's Exact tests to determine the significance (at 0.05) of associations between job satisfaction variables and the dimensions of burnout, namely, emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and personal accomplishment.
Most RNs reported low levels of satisfaction with both extrinsic and intrinsic job factors. Levels of emotional exhaustion were moderate to high (75.8%) with correspondingly high levels of depersonalisation (71.5%). Despite these findings, high levels of personal accomplishment were reported by most RNs (77.0%).
There was a significant, inverse relationship between job satisfaction and two dimensions of burnout: emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation. Despite low satisfaction levels and some degree of burnout, the majority of RNs derived a sense of personal accomplishment from their jobs. Specific measures should be explored and implemented to improve nurses' physical work conditions, industrial relations, institutional management, promotion opportunities and recognition for good work to enhance nurses' levels of job satisfaction, and possibly also nurses' retention rates.

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