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  1. Manion, Jo PhD, RN, CNAA, FAAN


How can we regain a sense of joy through our work? Many nurses feel disconnected from their organizations, morale is plummeting, and employee mistrust and cynicism are growing. Reversing these trends is crucial in the face of current and future labor shortages. The author shares recent information on healthcare workers who experience joy through their work with implications for today's nurse leaders.


In today's challenging work environment, many nurse executives and leaders claim that they have lost the sense of joy they once experienced in their work. Serious financial difficulties, declining employee commitment, and escalating patient and family demands, as well as a new crisis every day, are just a few factors that rob us of joy at work. How we feel about and enjoy our work is crucial to how we perceive the quality of our lives. However, loss of joy is more than a personal issue; it is also an organizational issue.


Positive mood has been directly linked to a range of different performance-related behaviors, including greater helping behavior, enhanced creativity, integrative thinking, inductive reasoning, more efficient decision making, greater cooperation, and the use of more successful negotiation strategies. 1,2 Positive emotions, such as joy, have the potential of making the workplace a much more pleasant and appealing environment. Joyful people are inviting to others, which positively affects the quality of relationships in the workplace. Engagement and commitment of employees is related to their attitude about their work and influences retention rates. 3-5


Seeking ways to create a positive workplace, especially during tumultuous and challenging times, I asked 24 employed healthcare workers how they experienced joy in their work. Findings from these interviews provide insight into why some people are joyful even during difficult times and how we can influence this experience for our staff.