Nurses are a powerful part of your workforce, and they have strong opinions about what brings them satisfaction and makes them want to stay or go.
A new study confirms that efforts to improve culture and ensure the availability of adequate resources strongly contribute to the job satisfaction of nurses working in the long-term care (LTC) setting. According to the authors, their findings suggest that “residential LTC settings should consider providing comprehensive on-the-job training to ensure that staff have the knowledge and skills to provide quality care to residents and creating additional space for staff.”
Among the study’s key findings:
- Nurses see the availability of organizational resources (such as time, materials, and equipment) as important for job satisfaction. Lack of access to private spaces, they say, hurt their ability to hold confidential discussions and share private patient information; and this contributes to stress and frustration.
- Adequate on-the-job training to enable nurses to perform their jobs safely and effectively contribute to job satisfaction. Of particular value are education/training programs focused on improving knowledge and competence (particularly as related to dementia care), as well as preceptor and mentorship programs. Nurses also want knowledge about general resident care, how to handle difficult behaviors, and how to resolve conflicts. These skills, they say, help decrease job strain and improve work satisfaction.
- Leadership was not associated with job satisfaction in this study. However, the authors suggest that this may be because nurses see elements of leadership (e.g., being seen as equals, staff recognition by management, and managerial support) as elements of “unit culture” that influence job satisfaction.
Factors such as low burnout, high work engagement, and good physical and mental health also are associated with higher nurse job satisfaction. At the same time, the authors observe that the effects of demographic variables on job satisfaction are unclear. For instance, they say that age has been identified both positively and negatively with nurses’ feelings about their work.
Another recent study focusing on job satisfaction for nurse managers in homecare found key contributors are their relationships with their staff (including nurses, clinicians, and non-clinicians), support from the organization and its leadership, the ability to care for patients in the home environment, and job responsibilities that are manageable and challenging but not overwhelming or bogged down with clerical activities. The authors of this study note that nurses often are promoted and expected to perform in a supervisory position without formal leadership/management training. They suggest, “Home healthcare leaders can collaborate with academic institutions to support nurse manager enrollment and attendance in nursing management and leadership programs.”