Increasing Nurse Job Satisfaction: How to Find More Happiness in Your Role
The Traditional Way of Staffing Might Not be the Answer
It’s no secret that nursing is a demanding career. But as much as it asks of you, it’s just as rewarding. Being able to care for people is what you’re passionate about, but external factors can often have a detrimental impact on your ability to find the same satisfaction that you had in your job when you started.
You’re not alone. Many nurses feel this way, and many of these issues commonly stem from the overall nursing shortage that is facing the country. With healthcare facilities struggling to have full staff every day, it falls on the nurses who are currently employed to pick up the slack. This might mean having to take on more work, or even having to float to other floors who need more hands to manage the number of patients they have.
In situations like these, finding job satisfaction can be difficult, but with the right strategies and taking advantage of modern technology, nurses can work to have better overall satisfaction in their roles and their careers.
How Does the Nursing Shortage Impact Job Satisfaction?
With about an eight percent nurse vacancy rate around the country, just about every healthcare facility has felt the impact of the nursing shortage in some way. But how much it impacts your role truly depends on the facility that you’re working in.
In general, it might mean that you have to work more hours or manage more patients. But every facility feels the shortage a little differently, and it impacts the overall care at every level. When there is a lack of nurses available, it can be difficult for facilities to maintain the level of care that they’re known for. At a patient level, this can quickly lead to problems. For example, if a patient is pressing their call button but no one is responding, they might start thinking that they’re not receiving good enough care.
And, unfortunately, they might be right. Researchers found that in hospitals who were suffering due to a nurse shortage, discharged patients had a 21 percent chance of being readmitted. In nursing homes, they found that the mortality rate went up by 13 percent.
At the facility level, administrators might have to postpone procedures or bring in nurses from staffing agencies. Patients might have to be transferred or even close the unit to new admissions.
Nurses are at the middle of this whole issue. Unhappy patients will likely make their feelings known and can create a difficult work environment when nurses are already stretched thin. As facilities try to adjust to cover the gaps, nurses already working in the facility might start to feel like they’re not able to do enough or they aren’t able to perform at their best because they don’t have enough time to put their best effort into everything they need to do. Working longer hours can lead to exhaustion and feeling like your job controls every aspect of your life. When you take a deeper look into the nurse staffing shortage, it’s easy to see why many nurses are struggling with job satisfaction.
Why Work-Life Balance is Key for Nursing
So, if so many nurses are having trouble feeling satisfied in their jobs, what can be done? One thing to place focus on is your work-life balance.
When you think about how you manage your work and your life, think about what you’re doing to keep them separate. A good work-life balance is going to be different for everyone, but you’ll want to attempt to manage a healthy separation to ensure that you’re not feeling overwhelmed by your career.
If you don’t have a good work-life balance, it’s easy for the stress to feel like it’s taking over your life. This might have an impact on your personal relationships and lead to you feeling burned out at work.
It’s okay to be dedicated and passionate about your work, but increased work demands and difficult schedules make it hard for nurses to manage a healthy balance. By actively looking for ways to make your personal life a priority, you can work to getting to a feeling of overall job satisfaction. Try these strategies for putting an emphasis on creating a better work-life balance:
- Focus on what you can control – Not everything in your job is in your control, and it’s important that you recognize that, as well as the things you can control. Don’t let the things that are out of your hands cause you unnecessary stress.
- Work through what’s demanding the most from you – If you work nights, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If things get overwhelming, don’t skip taking a break. Make time for yourself to ensure that your personal life is getting enough attention.
- Accept that you’re not perfect – If you struggle with perfectionism in your role, make an effort to understand that you can’t be perfect everywhere. Don’t beat yourself up over situations that are out of your hands, or don’t require absolute perfection.
- Make time for self-care – Exercise, eat healthy meals, get enough sleep, focus on your hobbies — make time for the things that you value so that you feel like the whole of your life is getting the attention that it needs.
How Furthering Your Career Can Lead to More Job Satisfaction
In some instances, you might be struggling to be satisfied in your role simply because you’ve grown out of it. If you think that you’re not being challenged enough, advancing your nursing career can help you gain the responsibility and compensation that you feel you deserve.
You might also be interested in advancing your career because you’re already working toward advanced education or certifications that will help you obtain the role you want. Whether you want to be an RN, LPN, LCN, or NA, use these tips to help you find the most success.
- Invest in your education – If you’re not already working toward advanced education, consider it. Experience is one of the best ways to move up the ladder, and many positions will require you to have some form of education before you can be considered for the role.
- Work on your professional network – Whether it’s your colleagues or people you meet in a professional organization, use people in your network to help you make connections to different types of facilities and even different types of careers.
- Find a mentor – A mentor can help you along the path of your career, whether you’re just starting out or looking for your next move. Look for a mentor as someone you can count on for strong advice and wisdom.
- Get involved – Stepping up to the plate can help you stand out to leaders and make a point that you want to take on more responsibility in your role. Don’t be afraid to step up to the plate and take on more, you might be surprised where it takes you.
Why You Should Take Advantage of On-Demand Staffing
There are many different routes you can take to find more satisfaction in your job, and there are newer opportunities emerging all the time. One of the most promising ones for nurses today is new technology that allows for on-demand scheduling.
What is on-demand scheduling? Rather than working with a staffing agency to fill available shifts, technology solutions like NurseDash allow nurses to select the shifts they want to work and then provides direct communication with the intended facility through an intuitive app.
On-demand shifts are another way to achieve the work-life balance that you desire. By being able to build your own schedule, you can make your shifts work around your life, not the other way around. With NurseDash, finding opportunities in your area is simple. And if the facility selects you to fill the shift, you’ll be able to understand exactly where you’re going and who you’ll be reporting to so you can focus on providing the best possible care to your patients.
NurseDash is a healthcare marketplace that nurses at any level can take advantage of to build their schedules their way. Interested in seeing how it works? Signing up is simple and only takes two steps. Get in contact with us here to start viewing available shifts in your area!