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Building a Positive Culture to Improve Nursing Turnover

Nursing has always been a demanding and stressful job. From long hours to stressful work environments, nurses are always at the front lines of our health care and it takes a toll on them. With the addition of Covid-19 and the influx of baby boomers requiring late-life care, nurses are finding themselves stretched thinner than ever. This has led to an increase in worker burnout and a mass exodus of nurses from the profession, meaning higher turnover rates for nursing positions. Metropolitan areas with a plethora of nursing candidates are able to handle this high turnover rate, but small towns are struggling to keep positions filled. 

While nursing will always be a stressful job by nature, there are things that can be done to mitigate this high turnover rate and research into the topic shows that creating a positive work culture can be one of the best things to improve turnover rates in nursing. So what can you do to start building a positive culture in your healthcare environment?

Start the Conversation:

The first thing to be done is get the conversation going. Open up a line of communication, either by a committee dedicated to the cause or by using something as simple as a google form. Ask your nurses what matters to them and what would make their lives easier at work. Opening up this communication will not only let you know how to better serve your nurses, but it will also let nurses know that their voices matter and are being heard. 

Once the conversation is started, it is a good idea to keep the line of communication open to keep nurses and other staff informed of any changes that may be coming. This can be done in a variety of ways, including a newsletter, a bulletin board in the break room with important information, or through texting apps, which provide a great way to communicate with staff. Keeping everyone informed will keep morale high and let nurses know that their concerns are heard and improvements are coming. 

Keep it Positive:

Nurses deserve to know that they are appreciated and valued in the medical setting. Finding a way to show appreciation constantly is a great way to create a positive environment. You can install an appreciation board in the lounge area to raise morale with the nurses. This can also be done by selecting a nurse of the month, appreciating nurses' hard work each month. These strategies affirm hard working nurses and can work to boost all nurses moods with positivity. These small acts of kindness and appreciation are very effective at creating a positive culture, which in turn slows nurse turnover. 

Creating a work environment centered around positive reinforcement not only creates improved nurse turnover, but also improves patient satisfaction. If nurses are happy and feel valued, they are bound to treat their patients better too, so this strategy benefits everyone.

Today’s world can be a difficult place for nurses, but putting these ideas into practice can help to create a more positive and less strenuous environment for everyone. 

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