Nurses and midwives work at the coalface of human wellbeing. From life-or-death situations to the practical business of comfort and care, nurses overcome so many challenges with such high stakes that it’s no wonder some find their workplaces stressful.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Great nurse leaders can transform even the most fractious working environments into rewarding, connected spaces. They have a momentous impact on the happiness, efficacy and professional development of nursing teams. Not only is this great for organisations – it’s been shown to improve patient outcomes.
Creating positive nurse team culture
When a nurse leader supports and empowers a colleague on a personal level, this has a positive flow-on effect to their team, organisation and the wider community. There are numerous ways nurse leaders can make their workplaces happier and safer.
A leader with expertise in nursing engagement has the confidence to act strategically and always protects their colleagues’ mental and physical health. By being conscientious about team dynamics, nurse leaders can support individuals and teams to work through any issues before relationships deteriorate. They also establish a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment and ensure inclusivity is a cornerstone of the workplace.
Leaders are mentors and prioritise employee wellbeing just as highly as their administrative responsibilities. They value professional development and always provide opportunities for staff to grow. Crucially, nurse leaders acknowledge staff for their contributions and develop a consultative, open culture where differing opinions are listened to.
Nurse leadership is also about modelling the “right” way to behave. This top-down leadership can be the biggest driver of changing a workplace culture for the better.
“Burn ‘em and churn ‘em” management strategies have no place in nursing. Happy nurses are effective nurses, and one of the most obvious measures of an organisation’s culture is its staff retention rate. By establishing positive nurse work environments, employees don’t want to leave. Good leaders build up the experience in their teams and ensure that patients have continuity of care.
Employers are drawn to nurses and midwives with strong leadership skills, because a positive workplace culture slashes the costs of recruitment and onboarding associated with high staff turnover. Those funds can then be spent on further upskilling current staff, improving facilities and services for patients.
New tech, funding battles, ageing populations – whichever way you look at it, healthcare is changing. Projections suggest that our society will need more nurses than ever before. It will be up to the nursing leaders of tomorrow to ensure they don’t just deliver, but thrive. The health of the community depends on it.
A Master of Nursing from James Cook University Online can provide you with the impressive qualification and rich expertise you need to elevate your career and make a real difference to nurses’ and patients’ lives. To find out more about further study, get in touch with our Enrolment team on 1300 535 919.