What Do Nurses Really Want from Their Employers to Be Happy?

A 2020 Gallup poll showed that Americans gave nurses the highest ratings as an occupational group for honesty and ethics. This increased trust makes sense, especially following the pandemic where we all saw healthcare workers’ incredible sacrifice in action.

However, levels of nurse burnout have also skyrocketed. More than ever before, healthcare organizations should be asking questions like, “what do nurses want?” and “what do nurses need to stay fulfilled in their jobs?”

These are crucial concerns for healthcare recruiters and HR departments. As nurses look for new employers to start entering the workforce post-schooling, they’ll be extra watchful for job aspects that matter most to them.

Based on recent polls and statistics, here are the top things nurses want from a job.

Respect from Managers and Colleagues

Although many people trust and respect nurses, nurses don’t always feel the same levels of love from their workplaces. Many still stress about a lack of respect from colleagues and managers.

Most importantly, nurses want to feel like they have a voice. They want consideration when hospitals make changes or decisions that affect nurses and their patients. Nurses who have been in the business for decades still feel like their opinions aren’t trusted or acknowledged.

Younger nurses seek respect, too. Millennials are becoming nurses at almost twice the rate of baby boomers, who are now retiring. Managers might struggle to take advice from employees much younger than them, but this is a mistake. Young nurses are still at the patients’ bedsides; they’re “in the trenches” hearing their patients’ needs and experience.

Nurses want to have more of a role in decision-making. Employers might stress open communication and actively ask nurses about their thoughts and opinions on essential processes.

More Training (and Patience During the Learning Process)

After orientation, many nurses feel thrown into a new position without proper training or observation. The same goes for upgraded equipment or new EMR systems. Gaining momentum at any new job can take time, and nursing is not an occupation where you want to cut corners.

If you asked a nurse what they want more of on the job, many would say “more patience from fellow nurses, doctors, and patients.”

Anyone in the healthcare field knows nursing can be chaotic at times, and perseverance is critical. Nurses are more likely to be successful and feel confident when they’re given the support they need.

Safer Nursing Shifts

Safety is another thing nurses desperately want when they go to work. Two factors that contribute to the worry about safety are:

  • Too-long nursing shifts
  • Lack of nurses per shift

Exhaustion and lack of support can become dangerous quickly. Nurses are superheroes, for sure, but they aren’t superhuman. Unlike the trucking industry, nurses do not have set regulations on work hours.

Hospitals can provide the safer environment nurses want by limiting shifts to 12 hours or less and ensuring each shift is reliably staffed. It’s also best if nurses can focus on patient care above all else — which means less leaning on nurses to transport patients or handle housekeeping duties.

Employers can also support nurses by letting them know when and how much they’ll be working. Learning hours and shift schedules beforehand can remove a lot of stress and helps nurses prepare for the tasks ahead.

A Little Extra Gratitude

Overall, what nurses want most is more “thank yous” and the respect they deserve. Sometimes it’s difficult for hospitals to know what nurses need most, so communication is essential. Employers should ask what their staff need to be most successful and apply those principles when recruiting new nurses, too. Alabama Media Group knows how to attract, recruit, hire, and retain nurses in a way that’s best for everyone. Reach out today to learn more.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you adapt to the evolving recruitment landscape and ramp up your efforts, please contact us today.

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