The United States (US) is facing considerable shortages in all aspects of the nursing profession and this includes management. The nurse manager (NM) is a critical member of the healthcare team. They greatly influence the quality of patient care, staff retention, and the implementation of front-line and often progressive healthcare policy changes. Short tenures, high turnover rates, and poor recruiting outcomes, however, are threatening the current and future supply of experienced NMs. Today, there are three generations of NMs in practice: baby boomers, generation Xers, and generation Y'ers (also called millennials). Each of these cohorts has its own unique perception of healthy practice environments and job satisfaction, but sparse research has been devoted to understanding these differences. The aim of this dissertation was to determine the effects of generational membership on NMs' perception of their work environment and their job satisfaction. The study was first guided by an integrated literature review and theory. The underpinnings of the Conceptual Framework for Predicting Nurse Retention (CFPNR) served as the foundation for this study and helped to inform the variables of interest. A secondary analysis was then performed, using previously collected survey data from NMs (n=647) who completed the Nurse Manager Practice Environment Scale (NMPES) and a demographics questionnaire after receiving permission from the University of Central Florida's (UCF) Internal Review Board (IRB). Correlation analysis was performed with the following variables: generational membership, NM perception of their practice environment, and NM job satisfaction scores. There were positive correlations found between NM job satisfaction and their practice environment but there were no statistically significant differences detected based on generational membership. These findings challenge much of the current narratives claiming that work environment preferences are vastly different among generations. Though generational differences may exist among nursing professionals, these may not impact satisfaction and retention as much as previously hypothesized. Further research is warranted to understand what factors most impact NMs satisfaction and longevity in practice. Lastly, the quantitative portion of this study was performed using electronic surveys; therefore, a state of the science integrated literature review was conducted to understand the benefits, disadvantages, and current wisdom on how to mitigate the problems associated with electronic surveys. This is found in the final chapter of this manuscript. Findings from this dissertation will widen the body of knowledge on the topic, help guide the profession, aid organizations in improving professional practice norms, and inform future nursing workforce and leadership research.


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Graduation Date





Warshawsky, Nora


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Nursing



Degree Program





CFE0008487; DP0024163





Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)