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Nurse Leaders: Love the Job, Not the Paycheck

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, September 24, 2013

When it comes to job satisfaction, a new survey shows nurse leaders have a lot to like, but about one-third also perceive inequity in treatment compared with non-nursing departments.

Nurse leaders are satisfied with their jobs but less satisfied with their pay and benefits. And while most report equal treatment compared with non-nursing colleagues, 30% of chief nursing officers perceive inequity.

Those are some of the takeaways from the 2013 Salary and Compensation Study for Nurse Leaders from the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association. It finds that 62% of nurse leaders are very satisfied and another 29% are somewhat satisfied with their jobs. But the numbers are lower when it comes to benefits and compensation: 48% say they're highly satisfied with benefits and only 34% are highly satisfied with their compensation.

Yet the findings also reveal that when it comes to job satisfaction, there are other elements that seem to trump the dollar amount on the paycheck.

"When looking at the satisfaction for aspects of their job, items such as 'I find joy and meaning in my work" and "relationship with co-workers' are very high," Pam Thompson, MS, RN, CENP, FAAN, AONE's CEO, tells HealthLeaders Media via email. "I think these personal factors play more into job satisfaction than compensation. Nurses by nature are compassionate and caring people. Compensation is not the only driver for satisfaction."

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