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Improving Nursing Retention & Job Satisfaction

Blog_NursingAttrition_MedProfNurseStationSmile_260x200px[2 MIN READ]

What does your organization’s Employee Satisfaction Survey really tell you about how staff feel about their roles/jobs? The survey result graphs demonstrate areas that need improvement and more, but do they capture the authenticity and essence of how staff feel when they step onto the unit each shift?

Although these surveys are an essential part of evaluating workforce satisfaction – and yes, some are required through a regulatory process – staff need and deserve more. How does the manager determine exactly what “more” is? How does the manager get that authentic feel, vibe, or sense of how staff really feel about their jobs?

3 Ways to Impact Nursing Retention

  1. Listen – If staff tell you that a process is not working, don’t simply respond with excuses that it’s out of your control or that “it’s the policy.” Provide employees with a platform and an opportunity to research the issue, test it, and bring the results to administration for discussion. Then give credit to staff and show how their feedback can help improve the organization.
  2. Evaluate Turnover – Do not ignore turnover by putting the blame on scheduling, etc.; and don’t ignore rumors that a staff person is leaving. Approach that person before they turn in their notice; ask what you could do differently that would encourage them to stay. You will never know if you don’t ask. If someone does decide to leave, conduct an exit interview and uncover the real reason they’re leaving.

    website_author_cohenAdditionally, it’s helpful to identify the cost of your turnover and periodically share it with your staff. Ask them why they think you have the turnover you do and solicit ideas on how you might improve the numbers.
  3. Watch for Low/Poor Morale Red Flags:
    • Negative attitude that lowers patient quality of care
    • Resentment towards coworkers
    • Talking about others negatively
    • Lack of attention to details
    • Increased absenteeism or tardiness

    These are critical signs that someone is not engaged in their job and might be looking for something new. If you see a red flag, address it head-on and ask how you can help that individual find what they’re looking for in their role to get them back on track. 

Nurses stay in roles where they feel valued, respected and appreciated. Make sure you’re not passing up the opportunity to bring each of your staff to their fullest potential with these tips.

Get more information with our Triage Competency Checklist.


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Adderton, J. 5 Ways Managers Can Make Nurses Feel Valued. 2019. Retrieved from:


Categories: Triage, Nursing


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