10 Signs You've Found a Great Place to Work as a Nurse

10 Signs You’ve Found a Great Place to Work as a Nurse

You’ve graduated from nursing school and heading out on interviews, ready to find yourself a fantastic new job. What is it that you should be looking for during your site visits? What makes a workplace a healthy and happy environment?

Here are the ‘Top Ten Signs’ you’ve found a great place to work:

Number 10: It is a career.

It’s not ‘just a job’. When we set a goal to secure employment, sometimes we’ll take anything we can get. Working just to ‘work’ will lead to disaster. Make sure you’re actually excited about the position being offered. And that the position and what is asking for is going to tap into your unique assets and skills.

Number 9: It encourages learning.

Growth and development is crucial. It’s key to staying engaged, up-to-date and motivated at work. Be sure the employer encourages, supports, and provides opportunities for continued learning. This can mean both professionally and personally. Ask questions about innovation, strategy, and whether or not non-nursing workshops are available and encouraged.

Number 8: It has a healthy work environment.

Ask about staff satisfaction. Are the perks and benefits that keep staff happy being taken away because they rank low on the employer’s priority list? Sure, you do the work because it’s meaningful and provides value, but enjoying some bonuses is always nice. Find out if the organization values the employees or sees them as a liability.

Number 7: It retains nursing staff.

Longevity is important. If you can, find out about turnover on the unit. Are you being hired because there was a mass exodus? Is the staff leaving faster than they can be replaced? Find a place to work where years of experience is mixed; learning from your peers is a great way to grow.

Number 6: It values work-life balance.

You may spend a lot of time at work, but work isn’t supposed to be your life. Does the organization value and take an interest in your health? Is it important that you have hobbies outside of your job? Work and life are meant to be enjoyed, both together and separately. Make sure it’s OK for you to have a life outside of work.

Number 5: It demands respect and teamwork.

How do you feel when you visit the employer? Are people friendly, smiling, and warm? Do you sense that this is a happy, upbeat, and fun place to work? Notice the conversations, teamwork, and inter-disciplinary collaborations. Take note of respect and friendliness. Better yet, as you tour the work environment, as people about this if you can.

Number 4: It agrees with you.

Review the mission and vision of the employer. One question can easily make or break your decision. Does the strategic plan of the workplace align with the values and beliefs you hold close to your heart? If it’s even a whisper of ‘no’ then maybe this isn’t a good fit. You cannot work in a place that you do not believe in- at least for very long. In order to find a nursing career that you thrive in, it has to line up with your bigger “why”.

Number 3: It is something that you would do anyway.

What is it that you love to do? What did you enjoy as a child that your parents had to pull you away from? What do you get so involved in that you lose track of time? What unique talents and skills do you possess? If you get to use any of these things in your prospective workplace then you’re on the right track. If you think about the potential nursing job and you would do it even if you were not getting paid… then you have something! (And no, I am not saying that you should find a nursing career that does not pay. Just putting the point across that you NEED to be passionate about the role, regardless of the money.)

Number 2: It fits.

You get a really great feeling about the job- not just in your head, but in your heart. If the idea of the job has your body tight, feeling constricted and in pain then maybe this isn’t the work place for you. However if, when you think of the job, you relax, breathe easier and feel at ease these are pure and simple energetic clues that this job will be a hit. Let your physical body clue you into the “right” nursing role for you.

Drum Roll please: And the number 1 thing sign that you’ve found a great place to work is…

Everything is easily falling into place. Ever heard of synchronicity? Not only is this phenomenon a reality, it is a sure-fire sign that this simply is the job for you. If you find things are working out more smoothly than they ever have before, RUN don’t walk to say “yes” to this nursing career. THIS is THE job for you. Don’t let anything get in your way!

What did we miss? What other signs have you received that you are in a healthy work environment? Share a comment below and thanks for reading!

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RNAbout the Author: Keynote speaker and virtual conference host, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the bestselling author of ‘Nursing from Within’, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver. Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bull.