What challenges and enablers elicit job satisfaction in rural and remote nursing in Australia: An Integrative review

McElroy, Michelle, Wicking, Kristin, Harvey, Nikki, and Yates, Karen (2022) What challenges and enablers elicit job satisfaction in rural and remote nursing in Australia: An Integrative review. Nurse Education in Practice, 64. 103454.

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Aim: To explore challenges and stressors experienced by rural and remote area nurses and identify any interventions that aided in decreasing stress and increasing job satisfaction.

Background: Demand for a generalist nursing workforce in rural and remote locations exposes nurses to the same conditions as people residing there: higher mortality rates and higher incidence of chronic diseases and inadequacies in accessing health services.

Design: Christmals and Gross’s integrative review framework was used with specified inclusion and exclusion criteria. Four databases were searched with no date limits. Only Australian studies were searched as international scope of practice differences for nurses could have distorted findings.

Findings: Eighteen studies identified three broad themes: access to education; isolation (geographical, professional and personal) and recognition of role.

Discussion: Interlinked themes showed positives and negatives from differing viewpoints. Ambivalence to education stemmed from inadequate exposure to learning and was linked with geographical isolation. Isolation was found to be less of a challenge to nurses who had an existing emotional connection with the community.

Conclusion: The themes identified were recurrent and interconnecting. The benefits of working in small rural and remote communities are being used as a driver for recruitment. These benefits include higher wages, providing a sense of belonging and allowing nurses to work to their full scope and develop generalist nursing skills. The geographical isolation generates challenges through inequality in access to education and professional support, working outside their scope of practice, safety and vulnerability that comes with living remotely and adapting to extreme weather conditions.

Item ID: 76103
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-5223
Keywords: Australia, Challenges, Education, Enablers, Job satisfaction, Professional isolation, Remote area nurse, Rural and remote working, Scope of practice, Stress
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-nd/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2022 23:54
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420505 Nursing workforce @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200307 Nursing @ 100%
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