Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


First Advisor

Joan Earle Hahn


Despite the increasing number of Americans who are over 65 years of age, little research exists about the satisfaction of nurses who care for this population. This qualitative descriptive study investigated the factors that influence the satisfaction of such nurses, and yielded five main themes. Registered Nurses (RNs) reported providing high-quality care, developing relationships, and making a difference to be rewarding components of geriatric nursing. The nurses also discussed challenges, which included caring for elders with dementia and being unable to deliver the high-quality care they felt patients deserve. Several of these finding were consistent with existing studies that addressed nurse satisfaction in general. The results of the present study implied that recognizing nurses for their work and providing RNs with training related to caring for older adults may be effective ways to improve satisfaction. Recommendations for further research include conducting similar investigations that are both larger and inclusive of nurses who choose to work exclusively with geriatric patients. Research regarding effective ways to implement dementia-related education programs in the workplace is also suggested.