Dear CEO, Nurses Need Your Help

Even before COVID, nurses were stressed and burning out at higher rates than ever before. Now, they are under even greater stress for a multitude of reasons and want to be heard. Some have turned to unions. 

A few weeks ago, during one of several interviews with Chief HR officers from around the country, I heard a quote that struck me. This veteran HR leader said, “Nurses don’t need unions, but I’ve seen plenty of administrations that deserve them.” 

He went on to explain that if senior leaders took the time to really listen and respond to nurses, they wouldn’t need unions to do their bargaining for them. 

Regardless of where you stand on unions, his point is well taken. If leaders stay connected by actively listening and advocating for nurses, they wouldn’t need a third party involved. Communication would be open, direct, and respectful. 

Real communication starts with getting out and talking with nurses on the front lines. Listen to their concerns, and make sure their leaders have the skills and tools to support a healthy culture. 

A great culture happens by design, not default.

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