How to Build a Nursing Culture Where Nurses Will Want to Work
What’s the Issue?
As the largest driving force in healthcare, nurses are responsible for delivering high-quality patient care. They are the ones who work tirelessly day and night to ensure that patients are safe, comfortable, and well-cared for. In this blog, we will explore what it means to build a nursing culture where nurses want to work. The nursing profession is facing many issues right now, but few as critically important to the future of nursing as: retaining the workforce and imagining new ways to practice nursing.
The nursing shortage is not a new issue, but the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly exacerbated the problem. Nurses are overworked, burned out, often demoralized, and many are deciding that the job isn’t worth the stress and money. They are leaving the profession in large numbers, and the ones who stay are struggling to provide safe patient care that was previously handled by two or three other people. We cannot afford to lose any more nurses, nor can we afford to continue to lose new nurses. Therefore, it is crucial to create a nursing culture where nurses will want to work.
Why are Nurses Leaving?
The current culture of nursing has shown itself to be wildly undesirable. Nurses are expected to work long hours, sometimes without breaks, and are often undervalued, under appreciated, if not directly insulted by belligerent patients and staff. They face high levels of stress, compassion fatigue, burnout, and exhaustion.
This culture is driving nurses away from the profession, leaving hospitals and clinics understaffed, and putting patients at risk.These problems are also compounding, the more nurses that burnout and leave, the worse the experience is for the remaining nurses. To create a situation where nurses are happily engaged with their work requires creating a nursing culture that supports its nurses, we need to address these issues and create a supportive and positive work environment.
Build a Culture of Recognition
The first step in building a positive nursing culture where nurses will want to work, is to provide them with the support they need. This includes adequate staffing levels, reasonable workloads, and resources to help them cope with the demands of their job. It also means recognizing their contributions and showing appreciation for their hard work. Whats needed is a culture of recognition, where nurses are celebrated for their achievements and given opportunities to grow and develop professionally.
Make Nurse Well-Being a Priority
Secondly, nursing leaders should prioritize employee well-being. This includes offering mental health support, encouraging self-care, and promoting work-life balance. Nurses should be encouraged to take breaks, go for a walk, or talk to someone if they are feeling overwhelmed. They should also be given opportunities for professional development and continuing education. Investing in the growth and development of nurses is essential to creating a culture of excellence.
Give Nurses a Voice
Lastly, nurses should be empowered to have a voice in decision-making processes. They are the ones who are on the front lines of patient care and have valuable insights into what works and what does not. Including them in the decision-making process can help create a culture of trust, transparency, and collaboration, it also does a lot to help nurses feel heard and seen.
In conclusion, the current reality of nurse employment is not sustainable. Nurses are expected to work long hours with little thanks, and more nurses than ever are abandoning healthcare as a career path. Building a nursing culture where nurses will want to work won’t be easy, but it is necessary. It will require a collective effort from nursing leaders, hospital administrators, and nurses themselves. By ensuring nurses have the support they need, prioritizing their physical and mental well-being, and empowering them to have a voice, we can create a positive and supportive work environment that attracts and retains top talent.