Nursing students' belongingness and workplace satisfaction: Quantitative findings of a mixed methods study

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Journal Article
Nurse Education Today, 2016, 45 pp. 29 - 34
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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Background The relationship between nursing students' belongingness and workplace satisfaction has received limited attention in the literature to date. Aim The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between, and factors that may influence final semester nursing students' need to belong, sense of belonging and workplace satisfaction while on clinical placements. Methods A cross-national longitudinal multiphase explanatory sequential mixed methods study underpinned by a pragmatic theoretical framework was used for this study. A convenience sample of third-year nursing students from two Australian and one Canadian university (n = 468) were recruited. Participants were asked to complete a 62 item survey which was a composite of three previously validated surveys: the 10 item ‘Need to Belong Scale’, the 34 item ‘Belongingness Scale: Clinical Placement Experience (BES:CPE)’ and the 18 item ‘Nursing Workplace Satisfaction Questionnaire’. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results Key results indicated that participants wanted to have someone to turn to, and to be accepted; they found nursing work interesting and considered it worthwhile to make an effort in this meaningful job. Participants were usually comfortable to ask for and accept help but many felt discriminated against during clinical placements. Only belongingness was strongly correlated with workplace satisfaction. Conclusions Irrespective of site, nursing students' satisfied sense of belonging influenced their workplace satisfaction while on clinical placements. Workplace satisfaction is a key determinant of career decisions and the results from this study have the potential to inform clinical placement practices and policies and to influence beginning nurses' decisions to continue in the profession.
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