Date of Award

Spring 2008

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Susan J Fetzer


With the state of health care today, it is essential to determine the level of job satisfaction among registered nurses as they are important members of the health care team. With the ongoing nursing shortage, identifying strategies to improve retention among nurses will help retain well qualified nurses and recruit the new generation of nurses. Autonomy is a factor that often plays a role in the quality of an individuals work environment, thus the current study was conducted to determine if a relationship exists between nursing job satisfaction and autonomy.

A quantitative, correlational study was conducted with 100 registered nurses attending nursing conferences in New England. The Dempster Practice Behaviors Scale, along with a demographics sheet, was distributed to participants. As a result of completing this study, findings showed a positive correlation between perceived autonomy and job satisfaction. Thus nurses who perceive higher levels of autonomy within their practice are more satisfied within their jobs.