The Relationship Between Managed Competition in Home Care Nursing Services and Nurse Outcomes

Diane Doran, Jennie Pickard, Janet Harris, Peter C. Coyte, Andrew R. Macrae, Heather S. Laschinger, Gerarda Darlington, Jennifer Carryer

Abstract


The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between the characteristics of home-care contracts, as indicators of employment relationships, and nurses' job satisfaction and perceived job security. A cross-sectional design was used to collect data on the study variables. The setting was 11 Community Care Access Centres and 11 nursing provider agencies in the Canadian province of Ontario. The sample included 700 nurses. A mailed survey was used to collect data from CCACs on length of contract awarded to provider agencies, potential for renewal, volume of service awarded, and profit status of the agency. Data were collected, via a mailed survey, on nurses' age, gender, work status, and years of employment in the community and at the current agency. The Nursing Job Satisfaction Scale was used to collect data on nurses' job satisfaction. Perceived job security was assessed using a single item measured on a 5-point Likert scale. Significant differences were found among provider agencies in nurses' perception of the quality of care, work enjoyment, satisfaction with time for care, and job security. Older nurses rated work enjoyment higher than younger nurses. Nurses paid on an hourly basis were more satisfied with their time for care than those paid on a per-visit basis. Nurses employed on a casual basis were less satisfied with job security than those employed on a full-time basis. Differences in nurse outcomes were observed among nursing provider agencies, but these were not related to the profit status of the agency. Further research is needed on the best practices within agencies that result in more satisfied staff.

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