Aims. To determine whether definable subtypes exist within a cohort of nurses with regard to factors associated with nurses' job satisfaction patterns and to compare whether these factors vary between nurses in groups with different profiles. Background. Globally, the health care system is experiencing major changes and influence nurses' job satisfaction and may ultimately affect the quality of nursing care for patients. Design. A descriptive survey. Methods. Data were collected using a self-reported structured questionnaire. Nurses were recruited in two hospitals in Macao. Two main outcome variables were collected: Predisposing characteristics and five components on job satisfaction outcomes. Results. A cluster analysis yielded two clusters (n = 649). Cluster 1 consisted of 60·6% (n = 393) and Cluster 2 of 39·4% (n = 256) of the nurses. Cluster 1 nurses were younger, more educated and had less work experience and more intention to change their career than nurses in Cluster 2. Cluster 2 nurses had more work experiences, were of more senior grade and were more satisfied with their current job in terms of peer supports, autonomy and professional opportunities, scheduling and relationships with team members than nurses in Cluster 1. Conclusions. Findings might help by providing important information for health care managers to identify strategies/methods to target a specific group of nurses in hopes of increasing their job satisfaction levels. Relevance to clinical practice. As a long-term investment, hospital management has to promote work environments that support job satisfaction to attract nurses and thereby improve the quality of nursing care. The results of this study might provide hospital managers with a model to design specified interventions to improve nurses' job satisfaction.
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