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Nursing Home Work Practices and Certified Nursing Assistants' Job Satisfaction

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This article estimates the impact of wages, working conditions, and other aspects of job design on overall job satisfaction of certified nursing assistants working in nursing homes. Data are responses to the 2004 National Nursing Assistant Survey, responses by the certified nursing assistants' employers to the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey, and county-level data from the Area Resource File. Ordered logistic regression was used to estimate effects of variables reflecting working conditions, personal characteristics, and local labor market characteristics on certified nursing assistants' overall job satisfaction. Wages, benefits, and job demands, measured by the ratio of certified nursing assistant hours per resident day, were associated with job satisfaction. Consistent with previous smaller studies, strong associations with job satisfaction were found for indicators that certified nursing assistants felt respected and valued by their employers and had good relationships with supervisors. Certified nursing assistants were also more satisfied when they reported that they had enough time to complete their work, that their work was challenging, that they were not subject to mandatory overtime, and when a labor union represented certified nursing assistants in their nursing home. This is the first investigation of certified nursing assistant job satisfaction using a nationally representative sample of certified nursing assistants matched to information about their employing nursing homes. The findings corroborate results of smaller, less representative studies in showing that compensation and working conditions that provide respect, good relationships with supervisors, and better staffing levels are important to certified nursing assistant job satisfaction. (The Gerontologist 2009, 49(5):611-622; doi:10.1093/geront/gnp040) [29 PDF pages]