Improving nursing satisfaction is tough in bad economic times, when many hospitals are experiencing census dips and cost cutbacks that are forcing reductions in work force, benefits, hours, and pay. But the state of the economy doesn’t need to bring your nursing satisfaction scores down—there are ways to boost morale immediately.
For example, you can:
- Begin nursing staff meetings by asking, “What was the best thing that happened to you today or during your last shift?” The meetings should focus on improving care and team-building.
- Focus on improving the image of nursing by gathering a group of nurses to volunteer with a community or organization project.
- Ask creative nurses to develop banners or posters that showcase nursing excellence and hang them around the unit or facility.
- Thank nurses for their fortunate choice of profession. In Gallup’s annual honesty and ethics professional survey, nursing has been rated No. 1 for the past seven years.
- Ask a nurse to create helpful hints on how to deal with stress and print them in your nursing or hospital newsletter.
- Ask the CNO to visit each nursing unit to listen and discuss why he or she is encouraged and hopeful about the future. Now is the time for leadership to paint an accurate but hopeful picture for nurses.
- Keep up the budget-friendly celebrations and recognitions for staff nurses. You can celebrate by handing out coffee coupons or recognizing a staff nurse during every unit meeting for his or her excellent patient care.