A Positive Work Culture in Nursing: An RN’s Experience in the USA

I am currently working as an RN in Shannon Medical Centre in the Medical, Surgical, and Oncology unit. After serving a decade in different hospitals in Nepal and a year of experience in the United Nations, I have dealt with myriad situations that have helped me experience the attitude, behavior, and skills of my nursing supervisors and leaders.

I have been working in the USA for eight months now and would like to describe the attributes and skills of my Unit Manager/Supervisor, Brittany Manuel, and the charge nurses Elsa Longoria, Haley Sparks, and Paulette Cabrera. The work culture in our unit is really motivating, positive, and safe. The charge nurses and unit manager are not like bosses; they are leaders. Every category of work is regarded as dignified and equally important. The team spirit is so high and positive that there are no seniors or juniors in a team. They have a great motive to reach the common goal of ensuring patient safety and quality patient care. They are really supportive and encouraging to each other. If you don’t know something, you don’t need to feel humiliated. We are always encouraged to ask any questions in case of doubts and concerns. Even if we don’t know simple things, they never criticize or humiliate us; instead, they feel more than happy to help us and share their knowledge and experience.

Whenever any problem occurs, they go above and beyond and do their best to solve the problem. There is no discrimination, prejudice, nepotism, or favoritism among subordinates. They love and respect each employee equally and are always ready to help each other. My unit in charge and unit manager possess the qualities of gregariousness and gratification.

For a new employee, the facility has a policy of provision of orientation sessions for almost 8-12 weeks before they are assigned to the floor. For the new associate who is assigned to the unit, there is the provision of clinical orientation for a minimum of 6-10 weeks where experienced nursing educators share their theoretical knowledge and clinical skills. The preceptor, along with the charge nurse and managers, orient the new orientee regarding hospital policies and procedures, electronic documentation in software, safety, Electrocardiogram rhythm interpretation, Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, and many more. After the end of clinical education, when they are assigned to the floor, initially, they, as the orientee, have to observe and learn clinical skills from the designated Preceptor. The preceptors are trained, certified, and highly skilled Registered Nurses who have received specialized training after being experienced and meeting the predetermined criteria. In fact, they are always informative and helpful in every single aspect.

In our unit, there is no trend of making rumors or backbiting anyone. The colleagues are always friendly and informative. They respect and support each other, and all the members of a team are always focused on work. There is always coordination, cooperation, and collaboration with the multidisciplinary teams such as among Doctor, unit manager, charge nurse, unit secretary, RN, LVN, Aide, physical therapist, Respiratory Therapist, pharmacist, laboratory technician, lab assistant, EKG tech, Rapid response team, code99 (basic life support team), occupational therapist, social worker, case manager, environmental services, and so on.

The unit manager always ensures that there are enough supplies and resources in the supply room. They organize unit meetings every month and present the unit goals, current status, fall rate, call light response, and more. They ask about the following aspects:

  • Are there any issues or concerns I need to be aware of?
  • What is working well?
  • Has there been anyone in particular that has been very helpful to you?
  • Do you have all the resources you need?
  • Is there anything you need from me?
  • What is working well and are you very satisfied with your job?
  • What are the areas that can be improved? Any suggestions for improvement? and more.

In the unit meeting, all the participants vote for the employee of the month and announce the employees of the previous month. This way, all staff strive towards excellence.

How does your job compare to what was portrayed, and are you very satisfied with your current job? They create a work culture of mutual trust and understanding. Instead of focusing on shortcomings, they focus on employee strengths. They are flexible and always welcome new ideas and innovations from employees. They ensure that any needs or concerns are expressed, and they provide regular in-service education in various clinical skills on a regular basis.

In addition, there is a “Zero Tolerance Policy for Verbal Abuse and Workplace Violence,” ensuring a safe and motivating working environment.

They are flexible with our schedule and let us choose the day or night shift. In addition, employees can self-schedule their shifts, ensuring work-life balance.

They are super friendly and encouraging in every aspect.

The charge nurse and unit manager in my unit possess great leadership skills and managerial experience, as well as intense interpersonal and communication skills. They pay attention to every detail and have the ability to solve problems promptly and efficiently. They always appreciate the staff’s hard work and sincerity and reward them with bonuses and rewards.

Hopefully, the nursing leaders of Nepal will learn these qualities and motivate aspiring nurses, which will certainly ensure higher job satisfaction and retention.