What do nurses want? What incentives for nurses should you be offering?
As we rapidly reach the brink of a huge nursing shortage, more and more medical practices are asking themselves how they can draw nurses in.
With a large percentage of the population aging, along with a huge number of skilled nurses reaching retirement age, convincing talented young nurses to work for you has never been more important.
Some hospitals are going to extremes, offering benefits like $20,000 signing bonuses, free housing, and paying for the tuition of employees and their children. While this sounds great, it doesn’t stop nurses from staying in one job just long enough to collect some of the benefits, then moving on somewhere else. While large financial compensation is certainly a perk, it’s not necessarily what nurses really want.
So, what incentives for nurses do nurses actually care about?
When nurses have too many patients to take care of, the quality of care decreases and there’s more room for human error. This leaves both nurses and patients vulnerable to dangerous mistakes for the monetary benefit of the hospital. Nurses want to feel like their nursing license is safe, and being required to take care of too many patients at one time is not only irresponsible, but likely to make nurses leave for a different job where they won’t have to worry so much that their career is in jeopardy.
Nurses are often undervalued – by the administration, by doctors, and even by supervising nurses. But, if nurses feel respected at their jobs, as they should be, they’re going to be more likely to stay on and recommend their workplace to their friends. Nurses are in many ways the primary caretakers of patients, and their expertise and experience should not be ignored.
3. Career opportunities
No one wants to feel stuck in a job where they’re never going to advance. In this infographic based on a survey of actual nurses, opportunities for development and progression were the top factors most likely to keep a nurse at their current job. With potential new hires and with existing nurses, be clear about the room to progress. The infographic suggests that employers “describe the development and career opportunities that are available beyond the specific role [they] are advertising for.”
4. Fair salaries
While a good working environment is paramount, fair compensation also factors into nurse job satisfaction. Even though companies are now offering huge signing bonuses, many healthcare businesses are, at the same time, trying to keep nursing salaries down. Instead of signing bonuses, offer fair starting salaries and wage increases.
5. Clear job responsibilities
Many nurses get stuck with janitorial and housekeeping jobs and patient transports, which take time away from caring for patients. When hospitals aren’t willing to fully staff these jobs, they often fall to nurses, leaving nurses feeling disrespected and stressed. Just like workers in other professions, nurses don’t want to act as task trash cans. Having clear job responsibilities for nurses and a full staff will keep nurses at your hospital as well as attracting more.
Honestly, what nurses want out of a job is what anyone wants out of a job. They want a place where they can grow professionally, where their skills are respected, and where they’re compensated fairly. Incentives for nurses don’t have to take the form of huge checks. Small perks, coupled with a fantastic working environment, will attract more nurses to your medical facility in the long run.
Speaking of perks, offering a uniform service for your nurses goes a long way. Unitex offers a wide range of scrubs to fit nurses of all specialties. Show your nurses you appreciate and value them by taking one more thing off their plate! Contact us today for a quote.