What Exactly is Workplace Culture Anyway? 

What Exactly is Workplace Culture Anyway? 

Every organization or workplace in healthcare or any other industry has a workplace culture, whether those working there are conscious of it or not. The best workplace cultures are consciously and proactively created by everyone involved, and the worst cultures exist without a shred of intention.

But what exactly is workplace culture, and how do you know your organization’s culture? This is a question worth pondering. what-exactly-is-workplace-culture-anyway

Workplace Culture in Plain Sight 

According to the Harvard Business Review, workplace culture can be seen as “the ways people in the organization behave and the attitudes and beliefs that inform those behaviors (i.e., ‘the way we do things around here’) — including formal, stated norms as well as implicit ways people work and interact.”

Indeed puts it this way:

“Work culture is a collection of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that make up the regular atmosphere in a work environment. Healthy workplace cultures align employee behaviors and company policies with the overall goals of the company while also considering the well-being of individuals. Work culture determines how well a person fits into their environment at a new job and their ability to build professional relationships with colleagues. Your attitude, work-life balance, growth opportunities, and job satisfaction all depend on the culture of your workplace.”

The culture at your workplace might be friendly, supportive, cold, cynical, laissez-faire, strict and controlled, or energetic and fun. As Indeed mentions above, healthy cultures align with what the company is trying to accomplish and how employees behave. However, how leadership behaves is a crucial factor that cannot be overlooked or overstated.

Whether you think about it or not, workplace culture exists and significantly impacts your workdays and how you feel about your work, colleagues, and even your patients.

 Is there a nurse bully on your unit who makes everyone miserable, but the administration ignores that unhappy reality? The workplace culture is toxic and unhealthy, with weak leadership.

Dr. Renee Thompson, the CEO and founder of the Healthy Workforce Institute, states, “Numerous recent studies reveal the direct negative impact a negative culture and disruptive conduct have on employees and patients. One particular report from McKinsey sums it up nicely. Their research shows that toxic workplace behaviors are the #1 cause of burnout and intention to leave.”

Nurse attrition from either individual workplaces or the profession as a whole is often a cultural issue. Dr. Thompson continues, “Burnout and turnover result from bad behavior and a bad culture. Therefore, culture and conduct are more important than anything, especially now.”

Do the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and other leadership team members regularly participate in rounds, meet with staff to understand what is and isn’t working, and take proactive steps to address problem areas? The workplace culture is geared towards being open, communicative, and highly functional.

Do those same executive team members communicate organizational goals, praise employees’ hard work, offer financial bonuses, give generous stipends for CEUs, pay for employees’ education or certifications, or make sure that there are plenty of other amenities that employees appreciate and use? The culture is highly focused on employee well-being and retention.

Workplace culture can manifest in areas like:

  • Employee wellness
  • What types of behavior are encouraged, tolerated, or not at all welcome
  • The methods by which employee success is measured
  • The quality of communication and the company’s level of transparency
  • The values that inform the organization
  • How employees are kept engaged
  • Efforts related to employee satisfaction and retention
  • Teamwork
  • General morale

We’re All in it Together

Culture is an inside job, and no one who’s part of a workplace can escape the fact that they’re direct contributors to that culture. Everyone is always responsible, from the smallest interaction between two maintenance team members to the end-of-quarter email from the CEO that’s being sent to all employees. From the moment each person walks through the door until the moment they leave for home, they are in the mix when it comes to the culture of the work environment.

The Harvard Business Review states, “As employees engage with the culture as a resource to shape their skills and habits instead of a mandate decreed by top managers, culture becomes ‘expressed and reified through practice’.”

Both the individual and the collective create workplace culture. It is a dynamic force that must be fed, watered, and tended to so it can be a positive force that uplifts the majority whom it touches.

Examine your workplace for clues about its culture and your place within it. How does it feel? How do you contribute? And if it’s not a culture that fits you well, that is a sign that finding a new professional home may be in your best interest. After all, cultural fit is more than a buzzword. It’s a testament to whether a workplace and an employee truly belong together

7 Strategies to Gain Success as a Nurse

7 Strategies to Gain Success as a Nurse

Gaining success as a nurse and landing that dream nursing position is within your reach using these seven strategies from International Nurse Coach Farah Laurent, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CPXP, NPD-BC, TCRN, CPEN, CEN.

1. Believe in Yourself & Promote Yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard for others to believe in you. So let’s go!

Stop those negative self-limiting beliefs. Instead, read positive affirmations daily to help you remain positive and focused. You have the knowledge, skills, and attitude to achieve anything. So, go ahead goal getter. If you believe it, then it will come, and it will manifest!

You may be shy to promote yourself, but it’s a MUST!! Whether during an interview or if you want that promotion, you better bring it. Bring that confidence. I call it “Brag & Swag.”

Follow the 3 Ps of Interviewing 


From your stylish wardrobe to your vibe, walk, and entrance!


Position yourself for to gain success as a nurse by researching and getting ready for the interview. In the physical sense, be aware of how you sit, from your posture, to where you sit at that table.


This is your chance to sell, sell, sell yourself, so be ready with your elevator pitch. You want the job. So, you better bring the energy and that fire!

2. Continuous Education & Growth Mindset

There is always room to grow and to improve! Nursing is a lifelong learning career.

You must keep learning, reading, and growing, whether a new nurse on the block or a veteran rock star. Seek out opportunities for growth and development. Conferences are a great way to learn, network, and learn about the latest and greatest in healthcare.

3. Positive Attitude & Gratitude

People love being around positivity, so keep it positive. Have a “can do” attitude and take the initiative.

I love to say that everything is “figureoutable.” Lead with gratitude and be thankful. Saying thank you to someone and letting them know you appreciate them truly goes a long way. Be open to opportunities because opportunities in nursing are endless. Be ready and open to receiving abundance.

4. Know Your Worth & Advocate

Know your value and worth. Do your research about the salary/wages, and be ready to articulate your value. Learn different tactics for negotiating wages/salary/perks.

Does the company have opportunities for growth and promotion? Learn how to advocate for yourself, your colleagues, and your clients.

5. Set Core Values & Goals

Do you know what your core values are? What is non-negotiable? These are key factors to gain success as a nurse.

Research the company or organization and see if your values align. Set your goals and have short-term and long-term goals. Write down your goals yearly, monthly, and weekly. Then, track your progress and keep it moving.

6. Be Kind & Practice Emotional Intelligence

Be kind. Nursing and healthcare can be stressful at times. However, you must learn how to adapt and respond. You cannot change people, but you can control how you react. Do not let others take away your joy! You are in control! You have options and choices! Exercise your Emotional Intelligence!!

7. Surround Yourself with Positive, Successful People

Lastly, positivity is contagious so surround yourself with a positive group. Seek to have multiple mentors and coaches and invest in yourself and your growth.

Remember, only stick around people who will help encourage, empower, motivate and elevate you.

The world is yours. Brag and Swag!

4 Tips for a Successful Nursing Orientation

4 Tips for a Successful Nursing Orientation

Before you officially become a nurse, you must graduate from nursing school, become licensed as a registered nurse (RN), and apply for your first job. Once you are hired, you will attend your first nursing orientation at your hospital or clinic. A nursing orientation is a course or set of courses designed to educate new employees about the facility’s procedures and policies. New nurses will also learn standards, codes of conduct, and the proper way to document patient information.

During orientation, employees will discover a wealth of information, including more about their work responsibilities. While these are some of the basics, your employer may also instruct you on other items that are specific to the hospital or clinic. Orientation topics may include how to stay safe and protect patients, as well as what color scrubs or what kind of nursing shoes to wear. You may also find out if you need to supply your own protective gear or stethoscope.

Since you must follow the facility’s policies at all times, it is important to pay close attention to the contents of your orientation session. The following tips will help you to ensure you retain everything you learn during your online sessions or in-person classes. Reading through these pointers before you attend your nursing orientation will help you to retain more information while you attend. A periodic review of the rules and standard operating procedures will help you to be successful at your career.

1. Arrive Early

Successful Nursing OrientationAs a new nursing employee, it is always important to be on time. Be sure to check the start time for your first day of orientation and then plan to arrive at least a few minutes early. It is especially important to be prompt if you are visiting a new building or entering a new facility. Consider that it may take longer than expected for you to find a place to park or walk to the meeting site. By arriving early, you will show your supervisor that you take your role seriously and that you are ready to get started.

If your instructor or supervisor arrives before orientation starts, introduce yourself. A formal introduction helps to make a good first impression, especially as a new professional in the nursing field. It is also helpful to make a connection just in case you have questions or need advice in the future. The relationship with your boss may also be the first one you make at your new clinic or hospital, which is why it is essential to begin promptly and positively.

2. Be Prepared with the Right Nursing Supplies

Check your orientation checklist as soon as you get it. You may need nursing supplies to get started. Sometimes, the best items and nursing gear are found online. A few days’ notice can help to ensure you get everything you need. In most cases, you will need to wear your scrub uniform and nursing shoes. You will also need a stethoscope, as well as a medical bag to carry your devices and documents.

Additional helpful items include a penlight and a storage clipboard. You may also benefit from a nursing watch with a second hand. Other popular nursing supplies that you should consider buying before orientation include a badge holder or lanyard, protective gear like eyewear and a few scrub caps.

3. Take Notes

As you go through orientation, you may have questions about the rules or policies the facility has for the nursing staff. You may also want to clarify reporting procedures or who to contact if you need something in the future. Take notes regarding each of your questions and then plan to follow up after the orientation session. Your notes may include contact information, like your orientation leader’s email or your supervisor’s office number.

Many hospitals will require nurses to take a test or quiz after the orientation session. This helps supervisors ensure that their employees understand how to do their job, document important information, and learn how to care for patients. Taking careful notes and highlighting sections of text will help you to remember key information before the exam.

4. Stay Organized

Being on time, taking notes and having the right office supplies will help you to stay organized. A folder, briefcase or storage bag can help you to keep your writing utensils, notebooks or orientation papers in the right spot. Keep these items away from your personal gear, such as your smartphone, wallet, or snacks. This will help you to locate the right items easier and faster.

If your sessions last for more than one day, double-check that you are to arrive the same time the next day. You should also find out if you will be in the same room for the rest of your sessions. Write down any changes on your smartphone or in your nurse’s notebook. If your orientation is at a different time than your typical nursing shift, be sure to let loved ones know about the changes as soon as you can.

Make the Most of Your Nursing Orientation

Nursing orientation will be full of information, but it is also an essential part of getting used to your new role. Since every hospital and practice is different, it is an excellent idea to pay close attention to your supervisor’s lectures or the facility’s learning videos. While you are sure to have a lot of questions, this is normal. It may take a little time to remember all of the rules and policies of the facility. If you arrive on time and stay focused throughout your orientation, your supervisor will be glad to help you through your first few weeks. Soon, you will be a pro at your workplace’s software and patient procedures.

5 Tips for the New Nurse Practitioner

5 Tips for the New Nurse Practitioner

The caps are tossed in the air, there are no more discussion boards due, and you have submitted and closed out your Capstone or Project. Time to get to work! However, you quickly learn there is much to do and consider. The ink has barely dried on your degree and your head is in a tailspin looking at career opportunities, salary offers, malpractice insurance, and everything in between. Before you get yourself in a tizzy, check out some tips from other NPs to help you navigate your first year as a new Nurse Practitioner.

1. Don’t just take a job for the high salary.

Although it may be tempting with the student loans or financial implications that incur from graduate school, the highest paying job offer may not be the best option. Definitely know your worth and what you bring to the prospective company, but you should keep in mind that NPs often have other financial obligations that can quickly eat into that large salary. For example, credentialing can be a couple thousand dollars alone. Several of my colleagues have said that continuing education stipends are very important factors in the salary package. Some employers do not pay any continuing education money, while others pay several thousands.  As an NP, you are required to have CME for your credentialing body as well as for your nursing license. Also, think about the payor source for your service. “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the single largest payer for health care in the United States. Nearly 90 million Americans rely on health care benefits through Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).”  Unless your practice is private insurance only, chances are, your organization will need you to be credentialed through CMS. The cost for Credentialing through CMS is just over $500. The details on job offers are just as important as the bottom line salary. Consider the cost of health / malpractice insurance, retirement, and student loans if you have them.

2. Become active in your professional organizations.

There are state and national organizations for nearly every specialty of NP. It is important to get involved and be in the know. These organizations allow NPs to continue to grow professionally and stay current on changes in the profession. I make it a point to attend at least one nursing related conference every year if possible. The world of health care is rapidly evolving due to the COVID-19 pandemic, legislature regarding full practice authority, and marijuana legalization. You would be amazed at the many facets of diversity these organizations offer. Seek out Nurse/Nurse Practitioner organizations here. Network often and purposefully. I often reach out to NP colleagues if I run across an area in their wheel house. There is much accuracy to the statement “two heads are better than one.” I have met some very knowledgeable and diverse friends at local conferences that I have stayed connected with.

3. There is the Good with the Not so Good.

Every job has its pros and cons. When researching for a position, be sure to ask pertinent questions. So often in interviews for provider roles we ask the same generic questions: “What is my expected patient load in a day?” Or “Do I take call or cover weekends?” Perhaps, we should add to those questions, “Is this position based on Relative Value Units (RVUs) or salary?” RVU-based positions may be beneficial for high need specialty areas, like psychiatry or pediatrics as the compensation is based exclusively on productivity, with no regard to a guaranteed base salary. Large corporations tend to lean more toward salary based NP jobs that offer income stability but may cap earning potential. More about RVUs is located here. Also, be sure the company you are working for understands your scope of practice as an NP. I have had peers inform me that some organizations did not fully understand the scope of the NP. This is a conversation to have during the interview. It is also important to familiarize yourself with your state’s Board of Nursing guidelines for practice.

4. Time is valuable.

Administration time is a valuable commodity. Working as an NP is more than just patient visits. The NP has to follow up on phone or electronic medical record messages, laboratory, and imaging results. Administration duties that go beyond the exam room are common. When establishing a work schedule or even in the interview process, the NP should be sure to ask about this space which is more commonly referred to as “Admin time.” For example, say you saw 18 patients on Friday and ordered labs. On Monday, these results return and some require you to schedule follow up, or even referrals. If you are scheduled to be right back in the clinic to see 18 more patients, you may not have the chance to perform these duties. Admin time also helps if you have other projects like research or practice improvement in your responsibilities. Consider business/practice meetings and education in-services that are required for the NP to attend when thinking about admin time. Some practices have this time built into schedules while others expect clinicians to work it into their day. It is important to have a clear definition of how and if you want to incorporate admin time into your schedule before you start your role.

5. Work-life balance is more valuable than gold.

With all the duties and responsibilities of being a health care provider at any practice, remember to keep yourself healthy. If a schedule or workload interrupts the time you have with the people you care about most or for self care, then it is not healthy. Many organizations have begun incorporating mindful moments into the workplace as an avenue to prevent burnout. I once had a position where I worked 7am to 6pm Monday through Friday and worked on my laptop or on call until bedtime every night as well as most weekends. This job interrupted precious time with my family, time for myself, and I quickly resented it and resigned after just one year. Whatever that balance is for you, it is important that you maintain it and allow yourself to be at the most optimal state. We can better care for our patients when we are at a healthy state, which includes being rested, not stressed, and physically healthy. Commit to making yourself (your most important patient) a priority by preventing burnout. Here are a few tips located here.

With these tips, you can set yourself up for a happy career where you focus on taking care of people,  including yourself. Hopefully, the new and exciting profession you have just spent the last however many years working to enter is all that you dreamed it will be. There are so many aspects of being an NP that make it a satisfying and rewarding profession. Congratulations on becoming an NP! Now, go bring something to the profession to make it better because you are in it.

4 Things to Do Before Your Job Interview

4 Things to Do Before Your Job Interview

One of the most exciting aspects of your nursing job search is receiving an invitation to interview. You impressed the hiring manager with your resume and cover letter. Now it’s time to impress them during your job interview.

Job interviews are nerve-racking for sure. But you can calm some of your anxiety by doing these four things before your interview.

1. Company Research

Reading through the job posting isn’t enough to prepare for an interview. Dig deeper and read through the organization’s website and any social media pages they have. Spend some time perusing their press releases to learn about new initiatives the company is working on.

Some companies also have an HR section on their website where they publish their employee benefits information and employee handbook. These documents will give you insight to help you determine if the company is a good fit for you.

Finally, be sure to read their annual reports from the past several years if they are posted online. These reports will give you a glimpse into the company’s financial health as well as key milestones achieved throughout the year.

2. Review Potential Questions

Don’t “wing it” when it comes to preparing for any job interview. It will pay off to spend some time thinking through the possible questions you will be asked as well as how you will answer them.

Be sure you can answer questions about:

  • Your education and work experience
  • Your strengths and weaknesses
  • Your patient care philosophy
  • Work/school challenges you have faced and how you worked through them
  • Your short and long-term career goals
  • Why you want to work for this company/organization

3. Prepare Your Questions

There will usually come a time during your interview when you will have the chance to ask some questions of your own. Be smart and have a few questions prepared. It shows that you’re invested in learning more about the job and company.

These questions will get you started:

  • What is the training/orientation process?
  • What is the nurse-to-patient ratio?
  • What shift(s) will I likely work?
  • How long do most nurses work on this unit?
  • What career growth opportunities do nurses have?
  • Describe your management style and/or management philosophy.

One warning: Don’t ask questions about salary or benefits during your interview. Save those questions for after you receive a job offer. At that point you know they want you for the position and you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate your starting salary and benefits.

4. Do a Test Run

One of the worst first impressions you can make is to be late for your interview. Mitigate the risk of being late by asking for directions to the interview site, including parking instructions. It’s wise to also do a test run a day or two before the interview so that you can gauge the time it takes to get there and park.

These tips will save you some stress and help you shine during your next job interview.