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I recently had the opportunity to be with a group of acute care nurses who had started their nursing careers in long-term care. During our time together, I asked them, “Why did you leave long-term care?” I fully expected them to say it was for more money. To my surprise, they never mentioned money. What they did offer was a reflection on leadership: “Our leaders never listened to us.” When I further explored this statement, I heard stories about changes in staffing that were “announced” and about “sudden changes” in policies and procedures. One nurse described how the electronic medical record seemed different every time she went to work, without any warning or additional education. “They never asked for our input.” Clearly, not being heard is a problem among nurses in long-term care and is one of the factors contributing to turnover. A 2017 Gallup study identified a positive working environment, where people feel energized around the work, as contributing to increased levels of employee satisfaction and reduced turnover.
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