Supporting nurses in the workplace

Why hospital workplace design is important to nurses

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Today on International Nurses Day, a new study by international design practice HASSELL in collaboration with University of Melbourne highlights how hospital workplace design affects nurse retention rates and job satisfaction.

HASSELL, who partnered with the University of Melbourne’s Health Systems and Workforce Unit, consulted with 74 nurses and nurse managers from Australia and the UK. They found that nurses need well-lit and efficiently designed wards that are close to break areas where they can complete their paperwork, and flexible spaces for meetings, training and staff interaction.

Dr Lucio Naccarella, from the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health, said that Australia’s shortage of nurses was expected to blow out from 13,000 this year to 109,000 nurses in less than a decade, and it was important that hospitals turn their attention to what competitive factors they can address to avoid inadequate staffing levels now and in the future.

“Our work shows that it is not just about pay” Dr Naccarella said.

“While that is important, the team environment, organisational culture and hospital design also influence a nurse’s decision of where to work.”

The University of Melbourne offers a suite of courses in nursing ranging from neonatal to palliative care as well as general practice, mental health, advanced nursing practice and nurse practitioner programs.

Find out more information about studying nursing at the University at Melbourne at http://mdhs.unimelb.edu.au/nursing.

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Vicki Burkitt