Six Strategies Senior Nurses Can Use to Motivate Juniors

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According to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN), the number of nurses leaving their jobs each year is astonishing – from 40,000 in 2010 to roughly 80,000 in 2020.

People leave their jobs for various reasons. However, stress ranks high among nurses. Common causes of stress and burnout among nurses include long shift hours, nurses shortage, lack of management support, increased patient load, etc.

Moreover, with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, the emotional health of many nurse staff is deteriorating. As a result, unsurprisingly, nurses feel demotivated.

Even though it's true that the nursing profession, by nature, is both gratifying and demanding, getting overwhelmed and losing motivation to perform best at the job is common for nurses, even more so for junior nurses.

However, senior nurses can play their part to ensure junior nurses don't lose motivation at work and the patient gets the best quality care at times like these.

So are you an experienced nurse and want to do something to make your junior nurses feel welcomed and motivated? In that case, here are six strategies you can adopt:


Let's face it; continuous learning is crucial for every professional irrespective of the industry. It is even more vital for junior nurses since the learning landscape of nursing is ever-evolving.

Advanced education can help nurses keep up with the latest trends and medical practices and offer the best quality patient care.

So as a senior nurse, you must encourage the junior staff to invest some time in further education to learn the latest development in the nursing sector.

Thus, a masters in nursing online will help attain the knowledge necessary to perform well in their profession.

Moreover, since an online degree offers its students flexibility to learn at their pace and from the comfort of their homes, it is an excellent opportunity for aspiring students who wish to take their career next level.


Novice or junior nurses often look for guidance from senior nurses. Thus, experienced nurses must understand the importance of establishing clear goals and visions and communicate them with junior staff.

When professionals know what they are expected to do at their jobs, they are more likely to push themselves, embrace new challenges with open arms, and be innovative in meeting those goals.

Conversely, individuals will have no motivation to work proactively without clearly defined objectives. Therefore, as a senior nurse, you must inspire juniors to perform best by setting well-defined and realistic goals and giving them a sense of purpose in their jobs.


Mistakes are a part of life, and nurses aren't prone to them. However, how would do they know whether they are doing the job the right way or not if there is no performance evaluation?

Therefore, as a senior and experienced nurse, if you haven't conducted staff performance lately, now is the time to increase your juniors' motivation. Performance reviews don't mean you have to scold juniors if they make any mistake.

Try to avoid shaming, scolding, or embarrassment; instead, offer constructive feedback to improve their performance.


One of the most significant reasons professionals feel demotivated and quit their jobs is that the senior staff don't recognize their hard work.

Acknowledging the excellent work by your juniors is the best way to foster positive relationships and build a healthy working environment. It also shows you value and respect your subordinates.

Appreciation and rewards are excellent ways to motivate the junior staff to perform best. Go a step further and praise them when they achieve a specific goal.

For instance, when a junior responsibly handles a complicated patient encounter, appreciate the effort.


Keep in mind, as a senior nurse, you are a role model for many. Therefore, there is a high possibility that junior nurses may look up to you about how they should behave.

In addition, your actions at the workplace are more likely to impact juniors. Thus, determine whether you are calm and collected, or do you quickly get upset or frustrated?

Chances are, you're habitual of being nosy, so you share the patient's information without their consent; your juniors might believe doing so is fine since the seniors are also doing it.

However, it may lead to HIPAA violations. Finally, try to treat your juniors in a way you wished to get treated when you were in their shoes.


Lastly, help your junior staff with networking. Start by encouraging juniors to build good relations with fellow workers to succeed in their careers.

Of course, not everyone in the workplace can be best friends. Still, motivate them to respect others and be civilized to foster a healthy team environment. Don't forget to encourage your juniors to build connections with other health professionals in the facility, such as a doctor, physicians, administrators, etc.

Moreover, you can promote networking by encouraging juniors to attend conferences and industry events. Networking is a perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people and get a chance to learn from peers and thought leaders.


Undoubtedly, the nursing profession is one of the most lucrative yet gratifying careers in the healthcare industry. Many individuals step their foot in this challenging profession to help others and positively change other people's lives.

It is the responsibility of nurse leaders to play their role to keep their junior staff enthusiastic and motivated. Being a professional and senior nurse, you must positively impact the junior nurses' careers instead of bringing them down. That way, your healthcare facility can stand out among others.