Nurses are some of the most essential healthcare workers. Some would even say that they are the most essential workers. Nurses are the first line of defense in health. They are the first to greet patients and to assess their symptoms. In an emergency, they are the first to provide care and to relay the important information to a doctor.

Nurses also make a big impact on how a patient feels and what relationship they will have to their care team. Those who are compassionate and patient can help those in their care to feel more relaxed, trusting, and engaged in their own health care. These patients will be more willing to share information and to trust the healthcare orders they are given.

Finding ways to engage nurses can help you to retain them so that you don’t have to spend more money on medical recruiting again and again. Reports from healthcare agencies have found that outcomes are worse if nurses do not feel engaged – for both patients and the healthcare agency. If you want to improve your retention and ensure that you are getting the best care for your patients, you need to find ways to increase your nurses’ engagement.
Here are three things you can do:

Involve them in Decision Making

Everyone wants to feel like their voice is heard. When you empower your nurses, they are going to feel more engaged in what is going on in your practice. Involving them in decision making for the organization is going to make them feel empowered and engaged. They are going to know that you value their opinion, and they will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment if any of their ideas are adopted.

Invite nurses into the decision-making process as often as you can. Invite them to forums, ask them to submit their ideas anonymously or in-person, and keep an open-door policy. Make sure that your leaders and management are receptive to feedback, as well.

Create an Environment of Teamwork

When people feel like they are truly part of a team, they feel more engaged. They also feel more respected and heard, which makes them happier to be where they are and more likely to want to stay. Knowing that others are counting on them also makes them more willing to show up and do the best job that they can.

You should be fostering an environment of teamwork and mutual respect. Encourage collaboration, and address unacceptable behavior quickly and effectively. Make your nurses believe that you actually believe in creating a respectful workplace, not just in saying that you do.

Be Responsive

Your nurses aren’t going to be engaged if they feel like they can’t approach their management or other leaders. You need to ensure that your leadership is accessible, including for email, phone calls, meetings, or just to say “hi” in the halls. And you need to ensure that your leadership is responsive to those interactions. If someone says they are going to follow up, they need to follow up.

The more you can do to make your nurses feel valued and heard, the more engaged they are going to be, which is going to be better for your patients and your healthcare facility. Work on improving the relationships in your facility, as well as involving your nursing staff in decision making, and you will have an engaged staff. You’ll reap the long-term benefits, and so will your patients.

You can also ensure that you have an engaged nursing staff by starting with the right hires. One Stop Recruiting and Medical Billing can help. We are a nationwide medical staffing agency that can help you find the most qualified nurses to join your practice, whether you are looking for short-term or long-term hires. We pre-screen our candidates so that we can put you in touch with nurses who are truly passionate about what they do and who want to build a future in their profession. Our medical recruiters take the time to truly learn the unique needs of your practice to connect you with the right people. Contact us today to learn more about our medical recruiting practice or to start your search.