Occupational stress in neonatal nursing is a significant professional concern. Prolonged exposure to morally distressing patient care experiences and other healthcare issues may lead to worry among nurses. When worry becomes excessive, nurses and advanced practice registered nurses may lose joy that gives meaning to their work. Enhancing meaning in work may have a positive impact on nurse satisfaction, engagement, productivity, and burnout.
To explore neonatal nurses' top professional satisfiers and top professional worries and concerns.
A descriptive study was conducted in a convenience sample of neonatal nurses to identify the top professional satisfiers that get them up in the morning and the top professional worries and concerns that keep them awake at night.
Complete data were available for 29 neonatal nurses. The top professional satisfiers were caring for infants and families, making a difference, witnessing resilience, intellectual challenge of specialty, positive working relationships with colleagues, and educating parents and families. The top professional worries and concerns were staffing, missed care, workload, making a mistake, and failure to rescue.
Implications for Practice:
Healthcare and professional organizations must develop strategies to address occupational stress in today's complex healthcare environment. Identifying professional worries and concerns may help nurses navigate challenging and distressing situations. Furthermore, understanding nurses' professional satisfiers may promote personal and professional resiliency and help organizations create healthier workplace environments.
Implications for Research:
Future studies are needed to test effective interventions that may promote professional satisfaction and help neonatal nurses cope with occupational stressors.