Compassion satisfaction: A concept analysis in nursing

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Nurses experience an intrinsic sense of fulfillment derived from their work in caring for other people. There is a need to further investigate the concept of compassion satisfaction as it is experienced in the profession of nursing.


The aim of this analysis is to provide clarity to the concept of compassion satisfaction in nursing.

Design/Data Source

A search of social work and nursing literature was completed. The search terms “compassion satisfaction,” “nursing,” “social workers,” “teachers,” and “educators” were entered in various combinations to the CINAHL, Journals@Ovid, ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source, ProQuest Psychology Journals, PsychINFO, ERIC, and Education Full Text databases.

Review Methods

A comprehensive review of the literature was completed to identify features of compassion satisfaction. Utilizing the Walker and Avant method, assumptions, antecedents, characteristics, and consequences of compassion satisfaction were identified.


A conceptual model of compassion satisfaction was developed encompassing 7 antecedents, 11 characteristics, and 8 consequences. Further, a theoretical definition of compassion satisfaction in nursing was derived.


There is a need to focus on the positive effects of caring. This concept analysis provides the initial step to strengthening the science related to compassion satisfaction in nursing and other helping professions.