Good health care for the aging U.S. population is inextricably tied to the “health” of the also-aging nursing workforce. The willingness of nurses to continue working is tied to their job satisfaction, which includes benefits (retirement, health). More information linking the organizational aspects of nursing—including benefits and nurses’ knowledge about benefits—to nurse job satisfaction, burnout, and plans for retirement is crucial to national healthcare.
The objective of this project is to learn what nurses know about retirement benefits and to better understand how variations across organizations employing nurses (hospitals, home care agencies, nursing homes, etc.) in benefits and other terms of employment affect the morale of nurses and their commitments to employers and careers in nursing. This will extend previous work that has surveyed nurses to understand the organizational factors that impede or enhance the practice of nursing, with respect to (a) the job satisfaction of nurses; and (b) the health of the patients for whom they care. Previous research has shown the extent to which organizational variation in nursing is implicated in patient outcomes. It also suggests that dissatisfaction with retirement benefits is a key factor in job (dis)satisfaction, with the effects mitigated somewhat when the nursing working environment is otherwise a good one. Further research in this area is congruent with the long-term objective of understanding how the organizational environment can be improved to more efficiently use the high embedded human capital (training, education, experience) of U.S. nurses.