Findings from the National Survey on Workplace Climate and Well-being
Nurses are not only the largest body of employees in the healthcare system, spanning all segments of care with a workforce of over 307, 000 (AIHW, 2015), they are also the frontline of the health system. However, it is widely recognised that in Australia, like in many other advanced market economies, there is increasing concern regarding the ageing of this workforce with more than 40 percent of this workforce now 50 years or over (AIHW, 2015). This potentially can have an effect on this high-skilled labour market if these key resources exit the health sector in a short period of time…
Focus of the Study
This is the third and most comprehensive of the surveys carried out by the Monash University team on the nursing and midwifery profession. This study addresses the key indicators associated with workplace climate in this sector of the workforce through a comprehensive national survey designed to explore the working conditions, wellbeing and organisational and management practices that characterise the work environments of nurses/midwives.
It looks at these topics:
- Emotional Labour
- Career Satisfaction
- Occupational Turnover Intention
- Employee Voice
- Organisational Practices
- Support at Work
- Life Satisfaction
- Support from Family
Summary of findings
The findings of this study reveal a decline in key workplace indicators since the previous studies. The findings suggest an increasingly over-stretched and undervalued workforce, with many more experienced staff contemplating leaving the profession. Many employed in this sector appear to feel stifled and trapped in an occupation they were initially passionate about. However, such passion appears to be being progressively eroded by the increasingly demanding work conditions, declining voice, poor income and advancement or developmental opportunities. Such deterioration of working conditions may also serve as a deterrent to potential entrants to the nursing or midwifery profession, if not addressed. In a sector expecting to expand considerably in the next decades, such evidence from this survey is indicative of major problems in the near future. The survey as such sounds a warning call to those charged with managing this workforce and this sector.