Donald, your question about how to challenge and motivate overworked, underpaid nurses struck home with me. I spent the first 15 years of my career in healthcare and have a very strong “heart-connect” to anyone in the field. My interest in healthcare and specifically how to engage and retain healthcare professionals has prompted me to speak at numerous conferences and work directly with senior leaders of healthcare organizations — all in the attempt to create environments where nurses want to stay and play.
Regarding the motivation and retention of nurses, I would direct you to numerous studies on the topic. Some that come to mind are:
- Nurse Retention Wars: Who Wins, Who Loses, And Why – Part 1
- Profiles in Excellence: Wowing Them With Workforce Planning and Metrics in Healthcare
- How to Win the Healthcare Talent Wars, Part 2
Bottom line, recognize that nurses are like everyone else in one respect. Their relationship with their managers is key to their workplace satisfaction. Respect them, ask what they want to do next, or learn next. Care about them. Find out what will make their lives easier and find ways to make that happen. Flex, get creative, and care — even a little more. In return you’ll have dedicated people who want to stay and play on your team.