Year 2021
October 2021


Abstract Title
Workplace engagement for nurses: Analysing the view from the ground



Tan Tock Seng Hospital1

Background & Hypothesis

Studies have highlighted the impact of demanding and unsupportive work environments on nurses wellbeing. This results in a need for strong, ethical nursing leadership to build sustainable and healthier work environments. In this study, ethical nursing leadership is exemplified through ground engagemnet where the Chief Nurse addresses and follows-up on concerns submitted anonymously by the ground nurses. 

Nurses who work for transformational, ethical leaders reported higher levels of work engagement. A leader with ethical values treats employees fairly and is considerate of their needs. 

We examined the findings from TTSH’s Nurses Engagement sessions by the Chief Nurse and draw emergenging themes that highlight the main job stressors of ground nurses in TTSH.


The qualitiative data used comprises questions posed anonymously by nurses during a monthly forum. Questions are submitted through “Slido” – a Q&A platform.


Common themes that emerged from the nurses questions highlighted that emotional labour is a common job stressor among nurses, and many seek the platform as a call for manpower relief. The sources of emotional labour stem from circumstantial factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, or resistance to operational overhauls. A paradigm shift was also observed, where nurses moved from reticence to emotionally charged expressions of their needs.

Discussion & Conclusion

Transformational and ethical leadership is an important resource in nursing, as it buffers nurses against mental and emotional exhaustion from nursing work. Constant engagement with the ground is pivotal to ensure the sustainability of the nursing profession in Singapore.