Commitment of Nurses to Quality of Care and Patient Satisfaction: The Role of Generational Differences

Commitment of Nurses to Quality of Care and Patient Satisfaction: The Role of Generational Differences

Author: 
Hripsime Rita Essaian
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
Work ethics differ among different generations of nurses, and ethical and professional values lessen with the younger demographic while values of self-expression increase. The differences result in communication breakdowns; create conflict in the workplace; and lead to nurse burnout, decreased job satisfaction, and increased turnover. Nurse burnout and stressed work environments can affect patient satisfaction and quality of care. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine the relationship between nurses’ generational membership and total organizational commitment, department-level patient satisfaction and total organizational commitment, and nurses’ generational membership and department-level patient satisfaction. Data collection consisted of a two-part process: Meyer and Allen’s TCM Employee Commitment Survey and the NRC Picker patient satisfaction survey. The study involved using one-way analysis of variance tests with eta coefficients to determine the extent of statistical differences between patient satisfaction groups for their nurses’ levels of commitment. Findings of the study showed statistical significance in nurses who are baby boomers having higher commitment than Generation X and millennial nurses (p = .03), yet the relationship between patient satisfaction and nurse commitment (p = .11) and the relationship between patient satisfaction and nurse generation (p = .97) were insignificant. This study raises awareness of commitment levels among generational cohorts. Delivering quality patient care and improving the patient experience continue to be a focus for health care leaders. Nurses play an important role in the delivery of care. Health care leaders who identify commitment drivers might be able to foster an environment that supports and encourages increased organizational commitment.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my husband and my two sons, without whose love and support this would never have been possible. Vardan, Vartkes, and Arman, thank you for encouraging me and thank you for believing in me. I love you!
Acknowledgements: 
As I write my acknowledgments, I am reflecting on what a growth-filled and humbling experience this has been for me. There are so many people who have partnered with me on this journey for whom I will be forever grateful. I want to acknowledge Dr. Marilyn Simon, my chair and mentor. As busy as she is, I was amazed at her quick turnaround of my work that always included valuable comments, feedback, and rigor. Marilyn challenged me and my thinking in many ways, and for that I am grateful to her! I have tremendous appreciation for Dr. James Goes, my first chair and mentor. Jim helped me to become a better scholar and researcher. I also want to extend my appreciation to my committee, Dr. Regina Phelps and Dr. Mary Dereshiwsky, for their valuable feedback and insight into my work. Other key members of my team were Dr. Tom Granoff and Toni Williams. Not only was Tom a great statistics teacher and coach (and my “Dana”), but he made it fun with his sense of humor. I am thankful to Tom for guiding and helping me through this study! Toni is an APA whiz! I appreciate her critical eye and attention to detail. I want to thank Ronnie Perez, my academic advisor, who always encouraged me to keep going! Sometimes it seemed like I was on an endless search for a study site. After multiple attempts and some painful rejections, I was very lucky to get approval from a reputable health care system. I want to thank Dr. Patti Radovich and Jennifer McDonald for their support. I hope this work helps the organizational leaders gain some insight that they may be able to put into practice. I want to acknowledge my family and my coach. Bill Hertan is someone for whom I will always have tremendous admiration, respect, and gratitude. As my coach and friend, I know I can always count on him to support me and challenge me to become a better leader and a better student. And of course, I appreciate the positive energies he sent to the universe. It was there when I needed it! I want to thank my parents for raising me with good work ethics and the values they instilled in me! Lastly, my heartfelt appreciation, gratitude, and love goes to my husband and my two remarkable sons! I hope this serves as an example to my boys about the importance of pursuing one’s dreams and for being a lifelong learner. I lost a lot of precious time with my family because I was involved in research and writing. There was a lot of research and writing! I am grateful for their understanding; for giving me the time to do this important work; and for bringing me snacks, water, and coffee (and sometimes wine!) so I had the fuel to keep going! I love you and I want you to know that this dissertation is just as much yours as it is mine!