It’s not hard to understand what nurses want.
In healthcare organisations, turnover of nurses is a serious workforce management challenge, and usually results in critical staff shortages.
Health systems can often take many days to fill an open position for a licensed practical nurse, depending on their role.
Let’s explore why nurses become unhappy in the job and why agency nursing may be the answer you’re looking for.
Reasons Why Nurses Quit
Among nurses who left their positions, the most common reasons were:
- Career advancement
- Working conditions
Low patient satisfaction levels have also been linked to nurses leaving their jobs.
Yet, a recent McKinsey report indicates various other specific factors are involved.
Nurses typically leave for a variety of reasons, including most commonly staffing issues, workload pressures and emotional strain.
What Nurses Really Want
We’ve discovered nine things nurses need the most when it comes to achieving job satisfaction and wanting to remain in the industry. These are:
Safe nurse staffing levels
This is No.1 on the list of things nurses want most.
Nurses want solid workforce management and procedures with adequate cover and consistent shift scheduling so patients and staff are best protected from serious errors brought on by tiredness, burnout, thin staffing rosters, double shifts and overtime.
Not more patients, but more patience
It doesn’t seem too much to ask from a nurse: realistic expectations from staff and from patients. A nurse is one person trying to do so many things on a shift, including tending to patients, monitoring medications, liasing with senior staff, handovers, and much more.
A little bit of respect goes a long way to keeping a nurse happy at work.
A simple “thank you” is all it takes at times, but certainly allowing for the fact that one person can only do so much is the least a nurse deserves.
This ties in very much with the first two points on what nurses want. Nurses do buckle under the strain from time to time, so it’s important to have all the necessary support systems in place.
Nurses Now takes very seriously the mental health and well-being of all our clients and employees. Should you ever need support, or someone to listen, we are here for you.
Hopefully, the industry keeps learning from the lessons of the past and continues to improve when it comes to workforce management.
But as you know, when you work with Nurses Now, much of the pressure surrounding shift scheduling is lifted, because you are in charge of when and where you work.
Better pay and conditions
We thought this would rate higher on the list, but it’s not all about money for nurses.
Job satisfaction is indeed much more important, so more flexible childcare and family support options go a long way to achieving this.
Similarly, incentive programs can be a boost, but for many nurses the job is a calling rather than a money-making exercise.
At Nurses Now, we offer a very attractive pay rate for all our agency nurses and support workers, combined with flexible working hours.
This leads to a great work-life balance, so our nurses and support workers can prioritise their family time, and travel when Australia fully opens up once again.
It’d be great if every nurse had a personal assistant they could rely on to do the administrative work involved. And believe us, there can be quite a bit of paperwork to manage on any given shift.
This issue can be addressed by perhaps automating portions of administrative tasks.
A barcode or QR code could be incorporated into eMR (electronic medical records) systems, for example.
As a result of automation, the number of manual entries in eMR can be reduced, thus reducing the opportunity for user error.
Furthermore, nurses would then spend less time on administrative work (i.e., data entry) and more time on what they enjoy doing: helping patients, residents and clients.
Plus, it would be ideal to have no leftover tasks or messes to clean up from previous shifts.
Having a constant supply of nursing necessities is the dream, right?
Even so, if everything was readily available and within reach when needed, nursing staff could walk less during their typical shift.
That’s why we encourage nurses to have two of everything on hand where possible.
Aside from better pay, nurses and support workers are always looking to improve their knowledge in order to expand their career options and provide greater flexibility. Study leave might be one option a healthcare provider could offer.
If you’re interested in further developing your healthcare career, Nurses Now can help.
We offer industry-recognised training and education to all of our staff through the KINEO platform. This system not only meets the CPD requirements outlined by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), but further ensures that our staff maintain up to date knowledge and skills aligned with industry best practice.
Some nurses and support workers would appreciate a larger “voice” in the workplace to help shape the direction of a site or the industry in general. Often, this comes down to having a say, or being heard when it comes to changes being discussed or implemented. This is referred to as autonomy.
It’s important to listen to the voices of healthcare workers because frontline staff are the community’s lifeblood, and we need to do everything we can to make their lives easier.
More trusting care recipients
Nurses and support workers are smart – they’ve done all the right training to know what’s best for those for whom they provide care.
So those patients who have researched their disease/illness/injury online can relax. You’re in good hands. Let nurses do their jobs.
They will listen, monitor you and work out the best way to treat you.
When you choose Nurses Now, you are choosing to partner with an experienced employer that is able to provide you with valuable employment opportunities at many of Australia’s leading healthcare organisations, to support their sites and services. We have flexible positions available to best suit you. And we know what nurses want. Speak to Nurses Now today.
Related Links: What Nurses Want
- What Nurses Want: Analysis of the First National Survey on Nurses’ Attitudes to Work and Work Conditions in Australia (Monash University, PDF)