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Sixty-four percent of emergency department (ED) nurses responding to a survey say they're "very" or "extremely" satisfied with their jobs. Even so, the respondents cited some serious drawbacks to their job, particularly verbal and physical abuse and ED overcrowding. The survey, based on responses from 1,000 ED nurses, was conducted by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA).


What makes an ED nurse's work so satisfying? Two reasons stand out, according to 2006 ENA President Nancy Bonalumi, RN, CEN, MS: a high degree of patient interaction and a sense of camaraderie with coworkers. "The emergency department is a very team-oriented unit," says Bonalumi. "That camaraderie helps us all get through tough times."


Those tough times include workplace violence: 86% of respondents say they've experienced at least one incident of workplace violence in the past 3 years, and almost 20% say workplace violence is a frequent occurrence.


An alarming 40% of nurses say their workplace is only somewhat safe or not safe at all. Bonalumi cited three reasons: lack of access to mental health services, patients and families under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and ED overcrowding.


SourceOrlovsky C, ED nurses report job satisfaction despite workplace violence, staffing shortages, NurseZone, Accessed October 30, 2006.

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