Smart Nursing: How to Create a Positive Work Environment That Empowers and Retains Nurses

By June Fabre Mba Rnc | Go to book overview

Introduction

In [Jack and the Beanstalk,] the mythical beanstalk grows and allows Jack to enter a mysterious world of peril and adventure, the land of the giant and his extraordinary riches. Within this land is a goose that lays golden eggs.

Health care managers face a similar situation. They also live with peril and adventure, especially while staffing their facilities. They have golden geese, but don't always recognize them. Their golden geese come disguised as nurses. Organizations are figuratively killing their nurses with negative working conditions and actively ignoring their contributions. Nurses are one of health care's greatest assets, health care gold.

In the 1990s, health care management slashed staff instead of performing the precise surgery needed to decrease waste. Nurses could not survive in this new environment of overuse so they either burned out or found other careers. Now health care facilities face sinking financial futures because of the nursing shortage. Nursing costs have increased, and some facilities have been forced to put expansion plans on hold. Bottom lines have declined and facilities have not been able to offer necessary services to their communities.

Negative cultures also interfere with nurses' needs. A lack of courtesy and respect chips away at a nurse's sense of self, destroying his or her energy and motivation. Some organizations have also endangered nurses' physical needs by being slow to adopt safer equipment such as needleless IV systems because it is expensive. They have violated Maslow's second basic need: safety and security.

Caring people, not policies and procedures, determine whether patients receive quality health care services. Many of these caring people are nurses. Unfortunately, the nursing shortage threatens

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