Healthcare Facilities: Nurse Happiness Is in Your Hands

happy nurse smiling while working at a hospital
Written by
Jacky Habib
August 16, 2023

August is Happiness Happens Month, founded by the organization The Secret Society of Happy People and dedicated to pursuing happiness and celebrating happiness. Happiness leads to improved mental and physical health, as research indicates up to 80 percent of primary care doctors’ visits are due to conditions caused or exacerbated by unmanaged stress. As a leader of a facility, prioritizing nurse happiness can support the wellness of your nursing teams and ensure greater job satisfaction. 

In this blog post, we'll explore how you can build a positive team culture in healthcare, as this can play an essential role in keeping nurses happy and, therefore, improving service delivery, increasing retention, and ultimately, creating better outcomes for your facility. Creating a culture at work where nurses are appreciated is vital, so keep reading to learn more about why this should be among your top priorities as a healthcare leader and how you can improve the well-being of nurses. 

Are Nurses Happy?

Although nursing can be a gratifying and satisfying career, there are many nurses who, unfortunately, are unhappy with their jobs. According to CareerExplorer, the career happiness of nurses is rated 2.7 out of five stars, which means nursing is in the bottom 13 percent of careers when ranked for happiness.

A 2021 study by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses showed that only 40 percent of registered nurses were satisfied with their jobs, compared to 62 percent in 2018. Healthcare facility leaders should know that 67 percent of respondents reported their intention to leave their current positions within three years, and 8 percent planned to leave the profession altogether.

Learn How Hospitals and Facilities Can Avoid Nursing Strikes

How Can You Build a Positive Team Culture in Healthcare?

A positive team culture is one whereby employees’ well-being and professional and personal growth are supported by the organization’s policies, creating a positive work environment. 

An occupation in healthcare can be stressful, so a positive team culture is vital for health professionals and the facilities they work in. In particular, COVID-19 led to burnout among healthcare workers during the pandemic, with many nurses leaving the profession due to increased hours, demands, and stress—often while feeling underappreciated. Coupled with the nursing shortage challenge for hospitals and other facilities, as a healthcare leader, it’s essential to understand how nurse burnout threatens national healthcare security.  

Positive team culture has numerous benefits, including the following: 

  • A positive team culture leads to enhanced employee well-being, as a supportive environment can reduce stress.
  • It helps to retain skilled nurses, as nurses are likely to thrive and stay in a positive environment where they’re appreciated. A report by Deloitte showed that organizations with positive cultures retained and attracted team members. In the study, 87 percent of respondents cited employee engagement and culture as a “very important issue,” and over 66 percent of human resources respondents said they would amend their strategies on engagement and retention. 
  • It increases productivity, as nurses can focus on their responsibilities rather than be distracted by the stress that results from unhealthy work environments. 
  • It increases employee and organization growth, as engaged and motivated nurses can feel comfortable being innovative and creative, contributing new processes, ideas, and products to facilities.

What Are Workplace Environment Synonyms?

The environment of a workplace can be referred to by any of the following names:

  • Office atmosphere 
  • Office milieu 
  • Work climate 
  • Business culture 
  • Organizational environment 
  • Company culture 
  • Employment atmosphere 
  • Workplace culture 
  • Workplace ambiance

Regardless of the term your facility employs, it is essential that the atmosphere contributes to nurse happiness. 

How Can You Build a Positive Work Culture in Your Facility?

As a healthcare facility leader, you can build a positive work culture in the following ways:

  • Encourage collaboration and team-building: Use team-building activities and training to support nurses in connecting with each other. This can increase job satisfaction, create a learning environment, and strengthen relationships in the workplace. 
  • Strengthen communication processes: Regular communication from the facility and its leadership to nurses shows the facility cares about its team, whether nurses are employed full time or contracted to work per diem. Communication can include keeping employees informed of updates and critical decisions through meetings, newsletters, or other means. 
  • Develop consistent organization practices: A workplace with consistent practices, procedures, and policies helps nurses understand their roles and what is expected of them. It also creates systems for accountability. 
  • Enhance work-life balance: In an industry known for long hours and challenging schedules, enhancing the work-life balance of nurses is vital. Leaders can do this by promoting self-care and healthy boundaries, providing wellness programs, and offering flexible schedules. 

See Also: Enhancing Summer Employee Retention

How Can You Encourage Well-Being among Nurses?

As a healthcare leader, you can encourage well-being among nurses in the following ways:

  • Promote self-care, which is imperative to nurses as they cope with the demands of the nursing career, including demanding workloads. 
  • Change organizational structures by ensuring nurse leadership and facility decision-makers are conscious of the importance of nurses’ well-being. 
  • Provide and promote mental health support services to nurses, as many nurses face stigma for seeking mental health support. The improved mental health of nurses may also lead to decreased turnover rates, increased efficiency, and improved patient satisfaction.

As a healthcare leader, building a positive work culture and supporting well-being among nurses can support every nurse in becoming a happy worker and, in turn, every patient to become a happy patient. Find out how you can improve nurses’ happiness as a healthcare leader.

Jacky Habib
Blog published on:
August 16, 2023

Meet Jacky, a contributing copywriter at Nursa who specializes in writing about nursing specialties, FAQs, and career advice.

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