The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
FDG and OT initiated, planned, and implemented this study. FDG wrote the manuscript and OT reviewed it and gave her final approval. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.
There is an international nursing shortage. Improving the practice environment has been shown to be a successful strategy against this phenomenon, as the practice environment is associated with retention and job satisfaction. The Israeli nurse practice environment has not been measured. The purpose of this study was to measure practice environment characteristics, retention and job satisfaction and to evaluate the association between these variables.
A demographic questionnaire, the Practice Environment Scale, and a Job Satisfaction Questionnaire were administered to Israeli acute and intensive care nurses working in 7 hospitals across the country. Retention was measured by intent to leave the organization and work experience. A convenience sample of registered nurses was obtained using a bi-phasic, stratified, cluster design. Data were collected based on the preferences of each unit, either distribution during various shifts or at staff meetings; or via staff mailboxes. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample and results of the questionnaires. Pearson Product Moment Correlations were used to determine significant associations among the variables. A multiple regression model was designed where the criterion variable was the practice environment. Analyses of variance determined differences between groups on nurse practice environment characteristics.
610 nurses reported moderate levels of practice environment characteristics, where the lowest scoring characteristic was ‘appropriate staffing and resources’. Approximately 9% of the sample reported their intention to leave and the level of job satisfaction was high. A statistically significant, negative, weak correlation was found between intention to leave and practice environment characteristics, with a moderate correlation between job satisfaction and practice environment characteristics. ‘Appropriate staffing and resources’ was the only characteristic found to be statistically different based on hospital size and geographic region.
This study supports the international nature of the vicious cycle that includes a poor quality practice environment, decreased job satisfaction and low nurse retention. Despite the extreme nursing shortage in Israel, perceptions of the practice environment were similar to other countries. Policy makers and hospital managers should address the practice environment, in order to improve job satisfaction and increase retention.