Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction Blue.jpg

 Nursing Care


Why are you so great at nursing?

  • Low staff turnover.

  • The education opportunities we provide.

  • Good hiring practices.

  • A stable nurse leadership team.

  • Our core nursing team.

  • Personable nurses.

  • The tools, knowledge, and education they need.

  • Our management spends time with nurses and patients.


“We never think we’re there. One of our core values is excellence pursued. We try to set up good systems that work well, but we don’t think because we did that, it’s all done. You have to always pursue the best practices. We send our staff out for training and new practices. We seek after best approaches and incorporate them into what we do.”

John Skillingstad, Minnesota Veteran’s Home – Fergus Falls

“We have a lot of patients who are repeat customers. They request a specific nurse because they’re comfortable and confident in the care that nurse will provide.”

Dave Egbert, Fairfield Village of Layton

“Our nurses are very personable. They take care of each resident’s individual needs and spend time to build relationships with the residents and their families.”

Michelle Gardner, White Pine Care Center


What influences nursing quality?

  • Hiring the right candidates.

  • A top-down approach to individual care.

  • Consistent staffing.

  • Good communication.

  • Building relationships with residents and family members.

  • The education level of our staff.

  • Employees who know the systems and what is expected.

  • Access to resources that can help staff do their job better.

  • Good customer service skills.

  • Nursing proficiency.

  • The staff’s desire to provide quality care.

  • Staff morale.

  • Staff turnover.

  • The amount of time residents get with the staff members.


“Having consistent caregivers for a group of residents really improves the satisfaction because they get to know the person and their preferences. They are able to provide them more personalized care. When we have higher numbers of turnover, we see the satisfaction struggle.”

Tyna Smith & Teresa Pelican, Lake View Healthcare Community

“It starts at the top. You must have a director of nurses who knows what’s going on from a clinical standpoint in the building. The DON can’t be sitting in the office all day and know what’s going on out on the floor. They have to be out there. They have to set the example. They can’t be afraid to show an aide how to perform a particular task if it’s not being done correctly.”

Corey Wright, Vienna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center


Does staffing level affect nursing quality?

We asked our top performers if they felt like the level of staff they had affected their quality of nursing care. Here are the results:


“No, I think nursing quality is more related to the communication and the relationships that the nurses are building with residents and families. Within your facilities, you must have good communication between all levels of your staff. If you constantly have turnover, then you are constantly rebuilding. You are rebuilding the trust and rebuilding those relationships.”

Michelle Gardner, White Pine Care Center



“Certainly with adequate staffing, fewer things fall through the cracks.”

Brett Smith, Heritage Place Healthcare Community

“We have a very low turnover rate; however, in my previous experiences, high turnover rate has a direct relationship to quality care.”

Gail Winshell, Norway Center for Health & Rehabilitation

When you have less turnover, you have more consistent care across the spectrum. I would say that with continuity of staffing, you’re better able to get to know the residents and the residents get to know the staff, and the quality of care overall is just better.”

Brett Smith, Heritage Place Healthcare Community


How do you reduce turnover?

  • We promote education. We have our own CNA school. A lot of our CNAs have become LPNs and RNs through our facility.

  • We empowered our staff to feel they can be part of the care solution.

  • We have a high quality of work life.

  • We focus on first impressions and how our staff is trained.

  • We try to maintain stability within the department and teams in spite of turnover.


“We provide training for our nurses to keep them up-to-date on the current standards and expect high quality care. I think everyone wants to feel good about the job they perform. If they have the resources to do a good job, I think the retention is higher.”

Donna Stewart, Pontotoc Health & Rehab

“You must have a good environment for people to work in. We reinvest back into our facility in order to maintain a wonderful work place for people to be proud of. Our building is over 55 years old, but if you looked at it, you would think it’s rebuilt.”

Corey Wright, Vienna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center


How do you recognize great nurses?


Offer a safety bonus when there are no injuries. Let staff write their own schedules. Offer percentage increases for those who do a great job. Seek out sponsorship opportunities for employees to obtain more education. Provide designated parking spaces for employee of the month. Bring in special breakfasts or pizzas in the afternoons to show your appreciation. Give gifts to staff who achieve the employee of the month or other special milestones (five years, ten years, etc.).

“We have a lot of different things in place to reward people. We have length of service awards culminating in grandfather clocks for 25-year employees and brand new cars for 30-year employees. If you buy a $30,000 car, you’re really investing $1,000 a year to reinvest in your employee. If we had constant turnover with those 30-year employees, it would cost us more than the $1,000 it does to pay for a $30,000 car at the end.”

Corey Wright, Vienna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center



Observe CNA or Nursing Week. Create a Customer Service Super Star program or Special Kudos award. Award a top employee monthly, quarterly, or annually. Provide opportunities for advancement and growth. Send a few nurses each year to wound care certification conferences.

“We try to make the work environment fun. We have staff appreciation events monthly, and we provide an annual appreciation event at least twice a year.”

Gail Winshell, Norway Center for Health & Rehabilitation



  • Treat your staff with respect. Be fair, listen actively, and show empathy. Be generous.

  • Create a fun work environment.

  • Invest in your employees. Provide ongoing training and educational opportunities.

  • Close the gap between staff and management. Encourage leadership to work side by side with nurses. Minimize differences between staffing levels.

  • Listen. Provide an open-door policy. Provide positive reinforcement.

  • Show appreciation to your staff.

  • Include your staff in your strategic plan.