Being a nurse is perhaps one of the toughest and, at times, most thankless professions out there. Nurses seldom get the praise and recognition that they deserve from people because of the belief that doctors alone are responsible for making sure people are looked after, whereas doctors would truly be helpless if it weren’t for nurses. It is because of this and some other reasons that nurses often lose motivation to progress in their careers. Not to mention the work that they do is exhausting, to put it lightly.

The impressive part is that people who are dedicated enough to become a nurse have the perseverance to pull through. They aren’t afraid of the hustle, but that doesn’t mean they have to be alone. Other nurses, healthcare professionals, and employers can do a lot to make sure their staff is motivated, especially during tough times.

How to motivate nurses during difficult times

There are many ways to ensure that nurses have the motivation to keep on working their jobs without letting the work become overwhelming. There will always be difficult days, but when dealt with as a community, they, too, shall pass.

  1. Strong branding

If you want to retain competent nurses, you have to build a brand that screams “best work environment”. People should see how constructive the organization is for their growth and potential. Branding isn’t only about having a pretty, hi-tech office space. It is about the entire experience starting from online applications all the way to actually working there.

If potential employees find it easy to apply at the organization and they witness how cool the work culture is during their probation, they will want to be a part of it.

  1. Orientation

Hospitals and clinics get many fresh grad nurses who, to begin with, are understandably nervous. Even if they aren’t new to the game, they will be new to the workplace, and getting used to a new culture with different job requirements and norms can be overwhelming. So be sure to give nurses a proper orientation of the hospital, the people who work there, and the dos and don’ts of the place.

The orientation is also a very good opportunity to introduce the new hires to other colleagues and managers, thereby offering them a chance to bond with their new work peers.

  1. Values

Employees are likely to stay motivated when they hold a firm belief in the company’s core values. If the hospital holds ethical workplace practices above all else, then even if the employees are burnt out after a busy day, they would still look forward to coming back because they have faith in the company.

Work on building and maintaining corporate values that focus not only on the customers, who in this case are patients, but also on the employees who make sure the hospital runs smoothly.

  1. Be a leader

If your hospital is hiring new staff members and you happen to have a supervisory role, it will be up to you to not only boost their morale but also to be a source of constant guidance. Leadership in nursing is so important because of their insight, as nurses are the ones who spend the most time with patients coming with all sorts of diseases, disabilities, and injuries, making them beacons of knowledge. DNP programs, such as those at Walsh University, provide the ideal environment for nurses to gain and develop the skills required to step up into a leadership role. New hires will look to you and the support and knowledge you can provide in order to deliver their best work. Experienced nurses know more than anyone how demanding and trying this job is, so they must be there for new ones. Their experience is relevant not only to healthcare but also to managing junior employees.

  1. Autonomy

It is one thing to be a good and present leader, especially in healthcare, where junior-level staff must be supervised to avoid any chances of malpractice, but it is completely another thing to micro-manage. Nurses are very qualified to do their job; they spend so many years studying to get to this point. Show a little faith in their abilities by giving them a certain degree of autonomy. Otherwise, they will be nervous even to administer a single flu shot to a patient.

Don’t breathe down their necks every chance you get and give them some control to make decisions about patient monitoring.

  1. Feedback

Keep in mind that feedback is of two types. It can either be constructive or destructive. The former is the kind you should aim for while letting nurses know about their performance. Constructive feedback doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be praise only. It can offer constructive criticism so they know how and what to improve. Don’t leave the nurses hanging without them knowing whether their work is up to par.

That being said, don’t be shy with the compliments as well. If a nurse is doing a good job, tell them. It is astounding how far a few kind words can go in motivating a hard-working nurse to continue.

  1. Extrinsic motivation

Nurses are already intrinsically motivated to do their job. People who don’t have the desire to be of service to the vulnerable will never do all this labor. In order to make sure nurses are motivated at your workplace, offer them good salaries, incentives, and other benefits. At the end of the day, no matter how passionate a person is about their job, if it doesn’t pay their bills, they will leave. If you want to keep your employees motivated to work with you, you need to reward them.


Nursing is not everybody’s cup of tea. Only the most dedicated and committed people opt for nursing as a career choice, so it is fair to actively work on keeping their motivation levels sky-high. If you work as a senior nurse or even if you occupy some other position in a healthcare facility, follow these tips to make sure your staff of nurses looks forward to coming to work with you every day!