Group of Doctors and nurses Concept Teamwork in hospital for success work and trust in team

Toxic workplace culture is key factor driving the nursing shortage in the U.S., according to new research in MIT Sloan Management Review.

The researchers analyzed comments from more than 150,000 Glassdoor reviews of current and former nursing employees since the beginning of the pandemic. They identified four factors that have the biggest influence on nurses’ job satisfaction:

  • Compensation
  • Workload
  • Toxic culture
  • Organizational support

“Among nurses who quit, toxic culture is more than twice as predictive of their overall satisfaction than compensation or workload,” said coauthor Donald Sull, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and cofounder of CultureX. Toxic culture was also the factor that increased the most in importance since before the pandemic.

On the bright side for staffing firms, nurses who work for staffing agencies are much more satisfied with their employer than other nurses. The authors note that “staffing agencies excel at addressing nurses’ concerns and transparent communication that builds trust.”

However, nurses in full-time positions rate their employers higher than those at staffing agencies for learning and development, benefits, and colleagues.

To see how you rank in the eyes of nurses, explore the “Nursing Satisfaction Index.”