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Background: The impact of personal, organizational, and economic factors on nurses' job satisfaction have been studied extensively, but few studies exist in which the effects of physical work environment-including perceptions of architectural, interior design, and ambient features on job satisfaction-are examined.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of perceived physical work environment on job satisfaction, adjusting for multiple personal, organizational, and economic determinants of job satisfaction.
Methods: A cross-sectional, predictive design and a Web-based survey instrument were used to collect data from staff registered nurses in a large metropolitan hospital. The survey included 34 questions about multiple job satisfaction determinants, including 18 Likert-type measures with established good validity (comparative fit index = .97, Tucker-Lewis index = .98, root mean square error of approximation = .06) and reliability (r >= .70).
Results: A response rate of 48.5% resulted in a sample of 362, with 80% power to detect a medium effect of perceived physical environment on job satisfaction. On average, nurses had negative perceptions of physical work environment (M = 2.9, SD = 2.2). Although physical environment was related positively to job satisfaction (r =.256, p = .01) in bivariate analysis, in ordered probit regression, no effect of physical work environment on job satisfaction was found.
Discussion: In future studies, this relationship should be examined in larger and more representative samples of nurses. Qualitative methods should be used to explore how negatively perceived physical work environment impacts nurses. Rebuilding of U.S. hospitals, with a planned investment of $200 billion without considering how physical environment contributes to nurse work outcomes, threatens to exacerbate organizational nurse turnover.
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