Analysis of Job Satisfaction of Professional Nurses in Public and Private Sectors
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This chapter presented the discussion of findings on data presented in chapter four and inferences drawn therein, conclusion, implications of the study, limitations of the study, recommendation and suggestion for further study.
Discussion of Findings
Discussion was based on the research questions and the tested Null hypotheses. The findings of this study were also compared with empirical studies done previously by other researchers.
Nurses’ Satisfaction from Job Security
The result of the study indicated that nurses in the public hospitals were satisfied with job security while nurses in the private hospitals were not. This finding is supported by Rao & Malik (2012) who found that more number of government hospital nurses have job security as such they are more satisfied with their job whereas most of the private hospital nurses do not have security with their job as such they seemed to be less satisfied. Chimanikire et al., (2007) also supported that even though most employees indicate that their jobs were relatively secure, most of them expressed overall lack of satisfaction.
Nurses’ Satisfaction from Recognition
Result showed that nurses in the public hospitals were satisfied with recognition while nurses in the private hospitals were not satisfied with recognition. To this end, Barker & Guzman (2012) supported that the use of recognition is a very effective tool to assist facilities in the promotion of job satisfaction and nurse retention. Barker & Guzman also observed that many nurses do not feel their work is rewarded or appreciated while some do. Lephalala, (2006) also agreed that recognition was low in private hospitals as nurses’ opinions were undervalued by medical staff (mostly the medical doctors). Danish & Usman (2010) reported that there was a significant relationship between recognition and work motivation and satisfaction.
Nurses’ Satisfaction from Opportunity for Advancement
From findings nurses in the public hospitals were satisfied with the opportunity for advancement whereas nurses in the private hospitals were not satisfied with opportunity for advancement in their career. Rao & Malik (2012) agreed that growth opportunities are available more in government hospitals thus nurses from this sector are more satisfied than their counterparts from the private hospitals. Lephalala (2008) also found that advancement opportunities were portrayed in the nurses’ perception as being in a dead-end in private hospitals. Chimanikire et al., (2007) observed that some employees felt that the current environment does not promote personal growth and academic advancement. While, Hill (2011) supported that employees are more satisfied with their current job if they see a path available to move up the ranks in the company and be given more responsibility and along with it higher compensation.
Nurses’ Satisfaction from Job Control/Responsibilities
Results revealed that nurses in both public and private hospitals derive satisfaction from job control. This was supported by Waskiewicz (1999) who noted that if the characteristics of the job are enhanced, job satisfaction is increased. Archna, (2012) and Judge and Bono (2011) also noted that job responsibility/control results in job satisfaction
Difference in Satisfaction from Job Security between Nurses in Public and Private Hospitals
The Null hypothesis showed that there is a significant difference in satisfaction from job security between nurses in the public and private hospitals. This view was supported by Rao and Malik (2012) who stated that job security is more in government nurses (82%) whereas in the private sector nurses’ job security level was low as 72% of nurses were not satisfied.
Difference in Satisfaction from Recognition between Nurses in Public and Private Hospitals
The Null hypothesis showed that there was a significant difference in satisfaction from recognition between nurses in public and private hospitals. Abushaikha and Saca-Hazboun (2009) agreed also that there is disparity between government and private healthcare sector in recognition of nurses’ performance.
Opportunity for Advancement and Job Satisfaction
The Null hypothesis indicated that opportunity for advancement significantly guarantees job satisfaction between nurses in public and private hospitals. According to Robertson, Birch and Cooper (2012) there has been a relationship found between perceived opportunity for advancement and job satisfaction. Abushaikha and Saca-Hazboun (2009) supported this view by observing that lack of advancement opportunities and supportive hospital policies contribute to job dissatisfaction.
Effect of Job Control on Job Satisfaction
The Null hypothesis showed that job control does not have significant effect on job satisfaction between nurses in public and private hospitals. This finding is in line with Shimazu et al., (2004) who observed that job satisfaction does not depend on job control and Robertson, Birch and Cooper (2012) who noted that there is no positive relationship between variety of job responsibilities and job satisfaction.
In this study, nurses in public health care settings were more satisfied with their job than private nurses. This could be attributed to structural and functional differences between public and private hospitals. It was based on the fact that government hospitals offer better facilities, more incentives and superior service conditions to nurses compared with private hospitals, which usually have limited financial and human resources to offer to employees. The disparity between government and private health care settings continues to be an issue of debate and warrants more in-depth investigation.
From the findings of this study, it was obvious that job satisfaction was high among nurses in public hospitals than nurses in private hospitals. The study equally shows that government guarantees job security to its employees more than private individuals. Finally, nurses in both public and private hospitals were satisfied with job control in their career.
Implications of the Study
The findings of the study have far reaching implication for stakeholders in the health sector. Nurses in private hospitals as the study reveals are less satisfied with their jobs. Consequently, since low level satisfaction leads to absenteeism, labour turnover and negative publicity of the organization, management of private hospitals would be faced with these vices because an unsatisfied worker can prove to be a liability to the organization just as Igbal (2012) submits that a higher job satisfaction is associated with increased productivity, lower absenteeism, and lower employee turnover. Conclusively therefore, happy and satisfied worker is always a productive worker and this to a reasonable extent was the case in public hospitals but not so in the privately owned hospitals in Anambra State.
Limitations of the Study
This study had some limitations that must be acknowledged though they did not affect the final outcome and results. Firstly, the distribution of the questionnaire was a hectic task because of the spatial geographical location of the hospitals. This almost affected the distribution and collection of the copies of questionnaire on-the-spot.
Secondly, the study employed the survey method of generating information from the respondents through questionnaires relied on subjective or qualitative responses which were somehow difficult to quantitatively validate.
Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations were proffered:
- Management should encourage employees to take responsibility for their own job satisfaction by developing an environment that allows them the scope to perform well. In this environment, employees need to accept that responsibility and take steps to build on their own satisfaction.
- Because career opportunities and further training afford professional nurses the prospect of further developing themselves, and growing within the ranks of their career. Health managers in both sectors should provide nurses with the enabling facilities to actualize their desires in this respect.
- Effective strategies for motivation and retention of professional nurses in both sectors should be centered on creating a stimulating, challenging and friendly working environment by health managers.
- Health managers should recognize the needs of nurses and work towards improving them to address the cases of increasing migration of nurses from private sector to public sector and from both sectors to outside the country.
- Management of private hospitals should strive to create enabling environment similar to what is obtained in public hospital in terms of job security to discourage staff turnover.
Contribution to knowledge
This study highlighted the obvious disparity on the level of job satisfaction of professional nurses working in the public and private health sectors of Anambra State. Giving the pivotal roles nurses’ play in the effective and efficient health care delivery in Anambra State, it therefore becomes imperative for health managers especially those in private sector to address holistically the four core variable identified in this study namely: job security, performance recognition, opportunity for advancement and job control as antidotes to professional nurses job satisfaction and retention. Furthermore, improving the private sectors working environment to be congruent with the aspirations, expectations and values system of professional nurses is more likely to increase satisfaction of nurses working in this sector. This consequently will have positive and endearing effects on both professional nurses and Anambra State health sector.
Suggestion for further studies
Job satisfaction no doubt represents one of the most complex areas facing managers under human resources management. Despite thousands of papers and researches conducted on job satisfaction all over the world, the area is still inexhaustive. While the changing work environment portends new research interest, the need to revisit past research finding in line with the modern trends became obvious hence making it necessary for further and more studies on job satisfaction. On this note therefore, the researcher suggested for further studies in the following areas;
- Comparative study of job satisfaction variables among professional nurses and other health workers e.g. Pharmacist, Laboratory Scientists, Doctors, etc.
- Gender issues, female dominance and job satisfaction in Nursing Profession and career.
- Job satisfaction levels of professional nurses based on their area of specialization and practice, among others.