Nurses, the largest occupational group in health care, have been disproportionately affected by health care restructuring initiatives. A survey of registered nurses in Ontario was conducted in the fall of 1998 to examine factors influencing their work life quality in hospital settings. As a part of this survey, respondents were provided with an opportunity to share their concerns about work conditions in an open ended section of the questionnaire. Almost sixty percent of the nurses chose to respond to the open ended question (n = 230), divided equally between males and females. The purpose of the qualitative component of the study was to obtain a more in depth analysis of the effects of hospital restructuring initiatives on staff nurses' working conditions. All geographic areas of the province were represented in the responses. A content analysis of the data was conducted to determine major themes. Similar themes were found across all geographic areas. The four major categories of concerns that emerged from the qualitative analysis were quality of worklife, quality of patient care, relations with management, and cumulative impact of work conditions on feelings and attitudes. Nurses' perceptions of their quality of work life, concern for the quality of patient care and their emotional and attitudinal responses were very similar to those reported in a recent study of hospital staff nurses in the United States.
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