Job satisfaction among nurses and physicians in an Army hospital: A content analysis


      • Patient care, co-worker relationships, and teamwork were the themes that emerged for the most satisfying aspects of work for all respondents.
      • Leadership attributes, followed by co-worker conflicts, low-quality communication, feeling devalued, work schedule conflicts, and inadequate staffing were the least satisfying aspects of work for all participants.
      • Civilian and military respondents reported distinct differences in the areas of least satisfaction.
      • Hospital leaders should implement training workshops that focus on conflict resolution strategies.



      Lower job satisfaction is associated with increased turnover. Although factors that contribute to job satisfaction are well documented, less is known about job satisfaction among health care professionals in military hospitals.


      To explore areas of most and least satisfaction with work among civilian and military nurses and physicians in an Army hospital.


      Civilian and military nurses and physicians (n = 285) completed two-open ended job satisfaction questions. We used content analysis to explore categories and themes. Data were sorted by professional identity (civilian, military) and professional role (nurse, physician).


      Regardless of professional identity or role, respondents experienced the most satisfaction with patient care and co-worker relationships. Military respondents experienced the least satisfaction with staffing inadequacies and work schedule conflicts. Civilians reported leadership attributes and co-worker conflicts contributed to the least satisfying aspects of work.


      Hospital leaders should implement relational work practices and develop policies that enhance job satisfaction.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Nursing Outlook
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Al-Dossary R.
        • Vail J.
        • Macfarlane F.
        Job satisfaction of nurses in a Saudi Arabian university teaching hospital: a cross-sectional study.
        International Nursing Review. 2012; 59: 424-430
        • Allgood C.
        • O'Rourke K.
        • VanDerslice J.
        • Hardy M.A.
        Job satisfaction among nursing staff in a military health care facility.
        Military Medicine. 2000; 165: 757-761
      1. American Association of Medical Colleges. (2019). Diversity in medicine: facts and figures 2019. Accessed from:

      2. American Organization of Nursing Leadership (2021). Accessed at: November 21, 2021. Accessed from

        • Bank A.J.
        • Obetz C.
        • Konrardy A.
        • Khan A.
        • Pillai K.M.
        • Mckinley B.J.
        • Kenney W.O.
        Impact of scribes on patient interaction, productivity, and revenue in a cardiology clinic: a prospective study.
        Clinicoeconomics Outcomes Research. 2013; 5: 399-406
        • Bass B.M.
        From transactional to transformational leadership: learning to share the vision.
        Organizational Dynamics. 1990; 18: 19-31
        • Behmann M.
        • Schmiemann G.
        • Lingner H.
        • Kühne F.
        • Hummers-Pradier E.
        • Schneider N.
        Job satisfaction among primary care physicians: results of a survey.
        Deutsches Ärzteblatt international. 2012; 109: 193-200
        • Bjørk I.T.
        • Samdal G.B.
        • Hansen B.S.
        • Tørstad S.
        • Hamilton G.A.
        Job satisfaction in a Norwegian population of nurses: a questionnaire survey.
        International Journal of Nursing. 2007; 44: 747-757
        • Blount B.W.
        • LeClair B.M.
        • Miser W.F.
        • Maness D.L.
        • Schirner W.A.
        • Weightman G.F.
        • Jones R.
        Army family physician satisfaction.
        Military Medicine. 1995; 160: 501-505
        • Boamah S.A.
        • Read E.A.
        • Laschinger H.K.
        Factors influencing new graduate nurse burnout, job satisfaction and patient quality of care: A time-lagged study.
        Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2016; 73: 1182-1195
        • Brown S.S.
        • Lindell D.F.
        • Dolansky M.A.
        • Garber J.S.
        Nurses' professional values and attitudes toward collaboration with physicians.
        Nursing Ethics. 2015; 22: 205-216
        • Byers V.L.
        • Mays M.Z.
        • Mark D.D.
        Provider satisfaction in Army primary care clinics.
        Military Medicine. 1999; 164: 132-135
        • Choi S.L.
        • Goh C.F.
        • Adam M.B.
        • Tan O.K.
        Transformational leadership, empowerment, and job satisfaction: The mediating role of employee empowerment.
        Human Resources for Health. 2016; 14: 73
        • Choi S.P.
        • Cheung K.
        • Pang S.M.
        Attributes of nursing work environment as predictors of registered nurses’ job satisfaction and intention to leave.
        Journal of Nursing Management. 2013; 21: 429-439
        • Coomber B.
        • Barriball K.
        Impact of job satisfaction components on intent to leave and turnover for hospital-based nurses: A review of the research literature.
        International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2007; 44: 297-314
        • Cossman J.S.
        • Street D.
        Policy, autonomy, and physician satisfaction.
        Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 2010; 21: 898-912
        • Cox C.A.
        Nurse manager job satisfaction and retention: a home healthcare perspective.
        Nursing Management. 2019; 50: 16-23
        • Cydulka R.K.
        • Korte R.
        Career satisfaction in emergency medicine: the ABEM longitudinal study of emergency physicians.
        Annals of Emergency. 2008; 51: 714-722.e711
        • Dahinten V.S.
        • Lee S.E.
        • MacPhee M.
        Disentangling the relationships between staff nurses' workplace empowerment and job satisfaction.
        Journal of Nursing Management. 2016; 24: 1060-1070
        • Dilig-Ruiz A.
        • MacDonald I.
        • Demery Varin M.
        • Vandyk A.
        • Graham I.D.
        • Squires J.E.
        Job satisfaction among critical care nurses: a systematic review.
        International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2018; 88: 123-134
        • Doede M.
        Race as a predictor of job satisfaction and turnover in US nurses.
        Journal of Nursing Management. 2017; 25: 207-214
        • Dols J.D.
        • Chargualaf K.A.
        • Martinez K.S.
        Cultural and generational considerations in RN retention.
        J Nurs Adm. 2019; 49: 201-207
        • Gardner R.L.
        • Cooper E.
        • Haskell J.
        • Harris D.A.
        • Poplau S.
        • Kroth P.J.
        • Linzer M.
        Physician stress and burnout: The impact of health information technology.
        J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2019; 26: 106-114
        • Gittell J.H.
        Relationships between service providers and their impact on customers.
        Journal of Service Research. 2002; 4: 299-311
        • Gittell J.H.
        • Fairfield K.M.
        • Bierbaum B.
        • Head W.
        • Jackson R.
        • Kelly M.
        • Zuckerman J.
        Impact of relational coordination on quality of care, postoperative pain and functioning, and length of stay: A nine-hospital study of surgical patients.
        Med Care. 2000; 38: 807-819
        • Godfrey M.
        • Oliver O.
        Accelerating the rate of improvement in cystic fibrosis care: contributions and insights of the learning and leadership collaborative.
        BMJ Quality & Safety. 2014; 23: i23-i32
        • Government Accountability Office
        Defense health care: additional assessments need to better ensure an efficient total workforce.
        United States Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC2018
        • Guo U.
        • Chen L.
        • Mehta P.H.
        Electronic health record innovations: helping physicians - One less click at a time.
        Health information management. 2017; 46: 140-144
        • Havens D.S.
        • Gittell J.H.
        • Vasey J.
        Impact of relational coordination on nurse job satisfaction, work engagement and burnout: Achieving the quadruple aim.
        JONA. 2018; 48: 132-140
        • Hoff T.
        • Young G.
        • Xiang E.
        • Raver E.
        Understanding U.S. physician satisfaction: State of the evidence and future directions.
        J Healthc Manag. 2015; 60: 409-427
        • Hoffer Gittell J.
        • Logan C.
        • Cronenwett J.
        • Foster T.C.
        • Freeman R.
        • Godfrey M.
        • Collins Vidal D.
        Impact of relational coordination on staff and patient outcomes in outpatient surgical clinics.
        Health Care Management Review. 2020; 45: 12-20
        • Hopkins K.D.
        • Sinsky C.A.
        Team-based care: Saving time and improving efficiency.
        Family Practice Management. 2014; 21: 23-29
        • House S.
        • Crandell J.
        • Stucky C.
        • Kitzmiller R.
        • Jones C.
        • Gittell J.H.
        Relational coordination as a predictor of job satisfaction and intent to stay among nurses and physicians in the Military Health System.
        Military Medicine. 2021;
        • Jiang H.
        • Ma L.
        • Gao C.
        • Li T.
        • Huang L.
        • Huang W.
        Satisfaction, burnout and intention to stay of emergency nurses in Shanghai.
        Emergency Medicine Journal. 2017; 34: 448-453
        • Kabbash I.A.
        • El-Sallamy R.M.
        • Abdo S.A.E.
        • Atalla A.O.
        Job satisfaction among physicians in secondary and tertiary medical care levels.
        Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2020; 27: 37565-37571
        • Karsh B.T.
        • Beasley J.W.
        • Brown R.L.
        Employed family physician satisfaction and commitment to their practice, work group, and health care organization.
        Health Services Research. 2010; 45: 457-475
        • Klaus S.F.
        • Ekerdt D.J.
        • Gajewski B.
        Job satisfaction in birth cohorts of nurses.
        Journal of Nursing Management. 2012; 20: 461-471
        • Koshy S.
        • Feustel P.J.
        • Hong M.
        • Kogan B.A.
        Scribes in an ambulatory urology practice: patient and physician satisfaction.
        The Journal of Urology. 2010; 184: 258-262
        • Larrabee J.H.
        • Wu Y.
        • Persily C.A.
        • Simoni P.S.
        • Johnston P.A.
        • Marcischak T.L.
        • Gladden S.D.
        Influence of stress resiliency on RN job satisfaction and intent to stay.
        Western Journal of Nursing Research. 2010; 32: 81-102
        • Lu H.
        • Barriball K.L.
        • Zhang X.
        • While A.E.
        Job satisfaction among hospital nurses revisited: a systematic review.
        International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2011; 49: 1017-1038
        • Lu H.
        • Zhao Y.
        • While A.
        Job satisfaction among hospital nurses: a literature review.
        International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2019; 94: 21-31
        • Maharani C.
        • Djasri H.
        • Meliala A.
        • Dramé M.L.
        • Marx M.
        • Loukanova S.
        A scoping analysis of the aspects of primary healthcare physician job satisfaction: Facets relevant to the Indonesian system.
        Human Resources for Health. 2019; 17: 38
        • Marble W.S.
        • Cox E.D.
        • Hundertmark J.A.
        • Goymerac P.J.
        • Murray C.K.
        • Soderdahl D.W.
        U.S. army medical corps recruitment, job satisfaction, and retention: historical perspectives and current issues.
        Military Medicine. 2020; 185: e1596-e1602
        • Martel M.L.
        • Imdieke B.H.
        • Holm K.M.
        • Poplau S.
        • Heegard W.G.
        • Pryor J.L.
        • Linzer M.
        Developing a medical scribe program at an academic hospital: the Hennepin county medical center.
        Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. 2018; 44: 238-249
        • Maxwell J.A.
        Qualitative research design. An interactive approach.
        3rd ed. Sage, Los Angeles, CA2013
        • Morgan J.C.
        • Lynn M.R.
        Satisfaction in nursing in the context of shortage.
        Journal of Nursing Management. 2009; 17: 401-410
        • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
        Promoting diversity in assessing progress on the institute of medicine report the future of nursing.
        The National Academies Press, Washington, DC2016
        • Neundorf K.A.
        The content analysis guidebook.
        Ed 2. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA2017
        • Niskala J.
        • Kanste O.
        • Tomietto M.
        • Miettunen J.
        • Tuomikoski A.M.
        • Kyngäs H.
        • Mikkonen K.
        Interventions to improve nurses' job satisfaction: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
        J Adv Nurs. 2020; 76: 1498-1508
        • Oh Y.I.
        • Kim H.
        • Kim K.
        Factors affecting Korean physician job satisfaction.
        Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019; 16
        • Owings J.E.
        Job satisfaction among family nurse practitioners in the United States Air Force.
        Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD1999
        • Pakpour V.
        • Ghafourifard M.
        • Salimi S.
        Iranian nurses' attitudes toward nurse-physician collaboration and its relationship with job satisfaction.
        J Caring Sci. 2019; 8: 111-116
        • Patrician P.
        • Shang J.
        • Lake E.T.
        Organizational determinants of work outcomes and quality care among Army medical department registered nurses.
        Research in Nursing & Health. 2010; 33: 99-110
        • Payne T.H.
        • Corley S.
        • Cullen T.A.
        • Gandi T.K.
        • Harrington L.
        • Kuperman G.J.
        • Zaroukian M.H.
        Report of the AMIA EHR-2020 task force on the status and future direction of EHRs.
        Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2015; 22: 1102-1110
        • Pearson C.M.
        • Andersson L.M.
        • Porath C.L.
        Assessing and attacking workplace incivility.
        Organizational Dynamics. 2000; 29: 123-137
        • Prevosto P.
        The effect of “mentored” relationships on satisfaction and intent to stay of company-grade U.S. army reserve nurses.
        Military Medicine. 1995; 166: 21-26
        • Rao S.K.
        • Kimbell A.B.
        • Lehroff S.R.
        • et al.
        The impact of administrative burden on academic physicians: results of a hospital survey.
        Academic Medicine. 2017; 92 (101097/ACM.0000000000001461): 237-243
        • Renjel R.A.
        • Ficalora R.
        • Canaris G.
        Internal medicine physician job satisfaction in rural Montana and Northern Wyoming: a qualitative analysis.
        J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2019; 9: 384-391
        • Robinson S.E.
        • Rodriguez E.R.
        • Sammons M.T.
        • Keim J.
        Does being in the military affect nurses’ perceptions of work life?.
        Journal of Advanced Nursing. 1998; 18: 1146-1151
        • Roth T.
        • Whitehead D.
        Impact of a nurse manager peer mentorship program on job satisfaction and intent to stay.
        Journal of Excellence in Nursing and Healthcare Practice. 2019; 1: 4-14
        • Rosenstein A.H.
        Nurse-physician relationships: Impact on nurse satisfaction and retention.
        The American Journal of Nursing. 2002; 102: 26-34
        • Savage S.
        • Simms L.M.
        • Williams R.A.
        • Erbin-Roesemann M.
        Discovering work excitement among navy nurses.
        Nursing Economics. 1993; 11: 153-161
        • Saperstein A.K.
        • Viera A.J.
        • Firnhaber G.C.
        Mentorship and job satisfaction among Navy family physicians.
        Mil Med. 2012; 177: 883-888
        • Scheurer D.
        • McKean S.
        • Miller J.
        • Wetterneck T.
        U.S. physician satisfaction: a systematic review.
        Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2009; 4: 560-568
        • Schneider B.J.
        • Ehsanian R.
        • Schmidt A.
        • Huynh L.
        • Kennedy D.J.
        • Maher D.P.
        • Haring S.
        The effect of patient satisfaction scores on physician job satisfaction and burnout.
        Future Science OA. 2020; 7: Fso657
        • Song K.H.
        • Nguyen D.R.
        • Deitrich E.J.
        • Powers J.E.
        • Barrett J.P.
        Career satisfaction of military medical officers.
        Military Medicine. 2020; 183: e438-e447
        • Steele-Moses S.K.
        Predicting medical-surgical nurses' work satisfaction and intent to stay.
        Nurse Supervisor. 2021; 52: 16-25
        • Stuckey C.A.
        • Martinez L.M.
        • Gablehouse A.S.
        • Sylvia B.M.
        • Hartgerink A.G.
        • Watts D.D.
        • Murray J.
        Job satisfaction and retention of active-duty air force certified registered nurse anesthetists.
        AANA Journal. 2006; 74: 396-397
        • Stucky C.H.
        • De Jong M.J.
        • Kabo F.W.
        Military surgical team communication: implications for safety.
        Military Medicine. 2020; 185: e448-e456
        • Tricahyadinata I.
        • Hendryadi Suryani
        • Zainurossalamia S.
        • Riadi S.S.
        Workplace incivility, work engagement, and turnover intentions: multi-group analysis.
        Cogent Psychology. 2020; 7
      3. U.S. Army (2021). Soldier's Creed. United States Army. Accessed at: October 31. Accessed from:

        • Varpio L.
        • Bader-Larsen K.S.
        • Durning S.J.
        • Artino A.
        • Hamwey M.K.
        • Curthirds D.F.
        • Meyer H.S.
        Military healthcare teams: identifying the characteristics that support success.
        Military Medicine. 2021; 186: 1-6
        • Wada K.
        • Arimatsu M.
        • Higashi T.
        • Yoshikawa T.
        • Oda S.
        • Taniguchi H.
        • Kawashima M.
        • Aizawa Y.
        Physician job satisfaction and working conditions in Japan.
        Journal of Occupational Health. 2009; 51: 261-266
        • Walensky R.P.
        • Kim Y.
        • Chang Y.
        • Porneala B.C.
        • Bristol M.N.
        • Armstrong K.
        • Campbell E.G.
        The impact of active mentorship: results from a survey of faculty in the department of medicine at a Massachusetts general hospital.
        BMC Medical Education. 2018; 18: 108-116
        • Weavers S.
        • Paliwal M.
        • Hessels A.
        • Wurmser T.
        Administrative supervisors and nursing unit-based managers: collaboration and job satisfaction.
        Nursing Economic. 2019; 37: 67-76
        • Wojcik B.E.
        • Stein C.R.
        • Guerrero K.
        • Hosek B.J.
        • Humphrey R.J.
        • Soderdahl D.W.
        Army physician career satisfaction based on a medical corps survey.
        Military Medicine. 2020; 185: e1200-e1208
        • Yarborough S.
        • Martin P.
        • Alfred D.
        Professional values, job satisfaction, career development, and intent to stay.
        Nursing Ethics. 2017; 24: 675-685
        • Yoder L.H.
        Staff nurses’ career development relationships and self-reports of professionalism, job satisfaction, and intent to stay.
        Nursing Research. 1995; 44: 290-297
        • Zangaro G.A.
        • Johantgen M.
        Registered nurses' job satisfaction in Navy hospitals.
        Military Medicine. 2009; 174: 76-81
        • Zangaro G.A.
        • Soeken K.L.
        A meta-analysis of studies of nurses' job satisfaction.
        Research in Nursing & Health. 2007; 30: 445-458
        • Zhang L.
        • Huang L.
        • Meng L.
        • Hong Y.
        • Xiue L.
        Nurse–physician collaboration impacts job satisfaction and turnover among nurses: a hospital- based cross-sectional study in Beijing.
        International Journal of Nursing Practice. 2016; 22: 284-290
        • Zurmehly J.
        The relationship of educational preparation, autonomy, and critical thinking to nursing job satisfaction.
        Journal of Continuing Education. 2008; 39: 453-460