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EXPERT AVAILABLE: Missouri Nursing Home Employees Happy with Their Jobs, MU Researchers Find

April 8th, 2013

Story Contact: Jesslyn Chew, (573) 882-8353, ChewJ@missouri.edu

The views and opinions expressed in this “for expert comment” release are based on research and/or opinions of the researcher(s) and/or faculty member(s) and do not reflect the University’s official stance.

COLUMBIA, Mo. –Missouri nursing home employees are satisfied with their jobs, results from a new statewide survey suggest. Researchers at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (MU SSON) conducted the survey and say the findings will help nursing home administrators assess their employees’ job satisfaction and acknowledge their facilities’ strengths and growth areas.

“Research has shown that nursing homes with satisfied employees have better clinical outcomes, less turnover and residents who feel cared for,” said Marilyn Rantz, Curators’ Professor at the MU SSON, who directed the survey project. “Relationships are central to the caregiving process, and when residents and staff are given time to develop relationships, the culture of the nursing home improves.”

More than 5,000 employees from nearly 150 Missouri nursing homes completed the survey that evaluated their overall job satisfaction and their satisfaction with training, work environment, direct supervisors and administrators. In general, levels of job satisfaction among nursing home employees in Missouri aligned with national norms.

Key findings:

  • Sixty-eight percent of surveyed employees rated as excellent or good their willingness to recommend their facilities to others as a place to work.
  • Sixty-eight percent of the employee respondents gave their facilities an overall satisfaction rating of either excellent or good.
  • Seventy-six percent of respondents rated as excellent or good their willingness to recommend their facility to others as a place to receive care.
  • Facilities received high marks on fairness of evaluation, care quality, concern and communication from their direct supervisors, and workplace safety.
  • Employees noted several areas of improvement for facilities, including assistance with stress, attentiveness of management, care and concern of management, and quality of resident-related training.

“Nursing home administrators should be aware of staff satisfaction in the workplace,” Rantz said. “Dissatisfied employees will eventually leave their jobs, which leads to disruption in relationship-building with residents. Residents get better care with stable employees who know them well and know their special care needs and personal preferences.”

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services funded the survey developed by MyInnerView, a national research firm that evaluates long-term care facilities. Nursing homes could participate in the survey at no cost, and administrators at each participating facility received an individualized report that compared their employees’ job satisfaction to state and national job satisfaction averages among nursing home employees. To access the executive summary of the report, visit the QIPMO website: http://nursinghomehelp.org.

Rantz leads the Quality Improvement Program for Missouri (QIPMO), a state-funded program founded in 1999 that provides clinical services to skilled nursing facilities in Missouri at no cost to the providers. Rantz also heads a team of MU researchers and a $14.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement a project aimed at reducing avoidable re-hospitalizations among nursing home residents.

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