Nurses and Organizational Culture

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Nurses and Organizational Culture

Attitudes toward the organization impacts work

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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Every hospital or medical facility has what experts call “organizational culture”: a set of shared values, ideas, practices and attitudes, both positive and negative. Culture includes mission statements and policies, but also how those policies are actually interpreted and how nurses feel about them and about the organization itself.

One big aspect of culture in a healthcare or hospital environment is how nurses are treated. Are their talents respected and their ideas heard or are they just cogs in the machine? (Think of the power of the Magnet Program, which allows nurses to play a huge role in determining the culture of the institution in which they work.)

Are rules and policies enforced fairly or are certain people singled out for special treatment, good or bad?

Bring Your “A” Game
Organizational culture also influences how nurses behave, from their care in grooming to the attention they give their patients. Are nurses invested in doing their best work or just marking time and waiting for the next break? If something goes wrong, can nurses count on the chain of command to stand up for them?

Hospitals with strong, positive culture have three things in common:
1. Nurses trust the administration.
2. Nurses take pride in the standard of patient care.
3. There is camaraderie between coworkers.

Think about your workplace. What have you contributed towards creating a positive organizational culture?

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