Nurses' personalities, nursing-related qualities and work satisfaction: a 10-year perspective

Åsa Sand

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25 Citations (SciVal)


The personalities and qualities of nursing personnel are considered to be of great importance for their interactions and nursing relationships with patients and may also influence work satisfaction. The aim of the study was to explore the extent to which different personal qualities and personality factors, with a possible effect on motivation, professional conduct and coping with stress and anxiety, are represented in a group of assistant nurses (second level nurses), and how these qualities are related to nursing competence and long-range work satisfaction. A group of 51 female nursing students (mean age 31.8 years) participated in the study. The nursing-related qualities were empathy, sensitivity to non-verbal communication, feelings of discomfort in different nursing situations and work satisfaction. The personality factors were psychogenic needs and defence mechanisms. At a follow-up 2 years later, 43 nurses were interviewed, work satisfaction was assessed and nursing competence was appraised. At a follow-up 10 years after completion of nursing school, 33 of the nurses took part in a telephone interview. Work satisfaction was assessed in 23 of those who were still working as nurses. Cluster analysis performed on baseline data resulted in four groups: empathic, discomfort prone, service-minded and dominant. At the first follow-up, the service-minded had the greatest work satisfaction, with many considered to be real jewels'. At the second follow-up 8 years later, there appeared to be an overrepresentation of injuries and long-term sick leave in this group, whose members had apparent difficulties in being dominant and asserting own interests. Work satisfaction diminished in all the groups over time. Long-term work satisfaction was found, however, to be related to degree of empathy and a low degree of sensitivity to aggressiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-187
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Nursing


  • work satisfaction
  • personality
  • nurses
  • non-verbal communication
  • discomfort
  • empathy


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