Ask the nursing expert: How can I get new nurses to focus on performance instead of pay?

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert

I am a seasoned director of nursing, but I'm currently having problems with newer nurses focusing on their hourly pay rate vs. the quality of their nursing practice. I have always been considered open-minded by my colleagues, but this is a real struggle for me. Do you have any suggestions or ideas as to how I can feel less discouraged about this? 

If you are a “seasoned” nurse, you probably entered nursing as I did, as a vocation. Nursing did not pay much, and it surely wasn't the career of choice for those wanting to prosper financially. 

Nowadays, nursing is a profession where there are available jobs and, in certain specialty areas, pays pretty well. What hasn't changed is that a good nurse has always been able to find a job! 

In my area and others, facilities also are attracting nurses from foreign countries with an offer of plentiful jobs in healthcare, and more income than they ever hoped to earn in their country of birth.

Of course, it can be a challenge to encourage quality nursing students — and medical students — to consider geriatrics. There's no question that the demand for geriatric clinicians is far outpacing the supply. 

That's why it's important to focus on the rewards in nursing that stem from demonstrating compassion to residents. Compassion needs to be demonstrated over and over again. Positive outcomes from compassion can be seen outright; many new nurses will want to feel the heartwarming reward from someone who has benefited from the care that they have given.

You are the best person to “walk the walk” by taking the time to visit with residents and families. There are many new nurses who still look for the rewards that only nursing can bring, so don't give up: Mentor and promote education to your developing nurses.  



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