Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

William McBreen


job satisfaction among nurse practitioners, rural health services


Nurse practitioners (NPs) playa vital role in the delivery of healthcare, particularly underserved areas. Attracting healthcare providers to these underserved areas is a challenge. Job satisfaction is a key component in successfully attracting and retaining NPs. Determining the factors that affect job satisfaction may help employers to recruit and retain NPs.
In this study, three categories of factors were proposed to affect job satisfaction. The three categories were personal and professional characteristics, practice characteristics, and practice location selection and community satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to correlate factors in each category with job satisfaction, and determine if there are differences in factors affecting job satisfaction between rural vs. urban NPs.
Data was collected from 170 respondents in a survey of NPs in two Midwestern states. A total of 290 surveys were sent with a response rate of 58%. Pearson's r was used to correlate the factors in all three categories with job satisfaction. T-tests were used to assess how factors were different between rural and urban NPs. All reported results of this study were statistically significant at p<.05.
Increasing years of clinical experience correlated with decreasing job satisfaction in this study. There is conflicting results in the literature with regard to years of clinical experience and job satisfaction. NP satisfaction with job interaction (a sub-category of job satisfaction) was increased with more discussion of patient visits with the supervising physician. A number of factors correlated with NP job satisfaction in the category of practice location selection and community satisfaction. Two examples from this category are the importance of a good reputation and character of supervising physician, and satisfaction with social and recreational opportunities in the community. The literature supports that community satisfaction is a major factor in job satisfaction.
No differences were found among the factors that affect job satisfaction between rural vs. urban NPs. Rural background and rural primary care preceptorship was higher in NPs working in rural areas, and social and recreational opportunities were more important to urban NPs. These two factors were significantly different for rural vs. urban NPs, but they did not correlate with differences in job satisfaction.
Factors that affect job satisfaction such as community satisfaction, need to be assessed by administrators and communities hoping to attract an NP to their area. NPs seeking employment need to assess what factors make an important difference in their satisfaction when interviewing for positions. This study may suggest factors of importance for NPs, administrators and communities to consider when making employment changes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nurse practitioners -- Job satisfaction
Rural health services



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1997 Lorinda Anderson. All rights reserved