Determinants of job satisfaction among overseas nurses working in Sheffield, United Kingdom

Nelson Khozomba studied on the Master of Public Health (MPH) programme at ScHARR in 2012-2013. He chose the course based on his interest in improving preventive health services in Malawi by promoting evidence based practice.   Nelson is currently teaching at a nursing college in Malawi but will soon be working on a research project aimed at improving evidence based practice.

The title of Nelson's MPH dissertation project was 'Determinants of job satisfaction among overseas nurses working in Sheffield, United Kingdom'.

Introduction: Job satisfaction of nurses has been receiving attention worldwide. Literature has shown that improving job satisfaction of nurses is important in improving patient outcomes, enhancing the well-being of the nursing workforce and improving retention of nursing staff. There were reasons to suspect that experiences of overseas nurses might differ from that of European nurses based on the anecdotal evidence.

Objectives: The objective of the study was to explore the determinants of job satisfaction of overseas nurses working in Sheffield NHS hospitals.

Methods: The study employed a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews. A snowballing approach was used to recruit 8 nurses who were interviewed using an interview schedule. These nurses were working in the NHS-Sheffield and were predominantly from Sub-Saharan Africa. Data was then analysed using NVIVO software.

Findings: Three broad themes were identified that helped to understand determinants of job satisfaction of overseas nurses. These were: the meaning of job satisfaction, career progression and flexible working environment.  Findings showed that the ability to continue with education, receive an enhanced salary and have flexible working environment all contributed to the job satisfaction of overseas nurses. Conversely, the participating nurses reported dissatisfaction with the lack of equal opportunity in awarding promotions at work.

Conclusion:  It appears that self improvement is a key factor in understanding job satisfaction of overseas nurses. These participants were more satisfied at work if they obtained higher degrees, which enabled them to earn a promotion at work and better remuneration. However, family ties have influence in their working life in the United Kingdom.

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