Date of Completion

Spring 5-28-2020

Project Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration and Health Policy



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Ballard

Committee Member

Dr. Rachel Myers


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between span of control (SOC) and nurse manager job satisfaction for nurse managers working in a hospital system. The study may help administrators identify how wide and narrow SOC correlates to the overall job satisfaction of nurse managers.

Design: A non-experimental descriptive correlational study design was used.

Methods: Data were collected from a convenience sample of nurse managers working within an eleven-hospital healthcare system. Survey Monkey was used for data collection and included a demographic questionnaire, The Ottawa Hospital Model of Nursing Clinical Practice (TOH MoNCP) Clinical Management Span of Control Decision-Making Tool, and a Job Satisfaction Tool. Final sample was 76 participants.

Results: Pearson correlation coefficients revealed a weak significant negative correlation between SOC and nurse manager satisfaction, r(75) = -.263, p = .022. A weak significant correlation was also found between the number of years in nursing and nurse manager satisfaction, r(75) = .294, p = .01, and between SOC and the time a nurse manager was in their current position, r(75) = -.237, p = .04.

Conclusion: Results of this study adds to the literature by describing how SOC relates to nurse manager satisfaction. As nurse manager SOC increases, nurse manager satisfaction decreases. Increased turnover, vacancy rates and negative patient care outcomes may result from an increased SOC and decreased manager satisfaction level. Health care administrators can use the data to better understand how SOC relates to nurse manager satisfaction and can implement strategies to help maintain manageable levels of SOC and preserve nurse manager satisfaction.

Key Words: Nurse manager, span of control, job satisfaction, healthy work environment, nurse leadership, nurse manager burnout, retention