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Who wouldn't want to work for Google? The employees who fuel the popular Internet search engine love going to the office, for good reason. The company provides them with free gourmet meals and many other extras, such as massages, haircuts, doctor visits, laundry services, even car care.
Of course health care facilities can't offer such elaborate perks-but they can adopt Google's philosophy: "Appreciation is the best motivation." Sure, nurses want a good salary, but being happy with the work environment means as much to employees as dollars and cents.
Do you look forward to going to work? Or do you hurt from hitting a stone wall when you try to meet your high standards? Maybe your experience falls somewhere in between.
On the next two pages you'll find a survey asking about your level of satisfaction with such issues as conflict resolution, autonomy, staffing, educational opportunities, and salary and benefits. In short, we'd like to know if you're flourishing or floundering.
I've heard plenty of uplifting stories from nurses who work with supportive leaders in an employment culture that recognizes and meets their needs. But I've also talked with nurses frustrated by leaders who don't understand that nurse satisfaction directly influences quality of patient care, including patient safety, positive clinical outcomes, and patient satisfaction.
Nurse retention is strongest where nurses feel appreciated and empowered. The results of this survey will help us identify the qualities nurses consider most important to their job satisfaction-and determine whether or not employers support these qualities.
Sean P. Clarke, RN, CRNP, PhD, FAAN, associate director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, will review the survey results and coauthor a report with me that we'll publish in a future issue. An expert on how nurse staffing, education, and satisfaction affect patient care, Dr. Clarke will add invaluable insights. But for an accurate appraisal, we need your input.
Searching for what nurses prize in the workplace isn't a task for Google. Only you have the answers, so please take a few minutes to fill out the survey-and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
Cheryl L. Mee, RN, BC, CMSRN, MSN
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