Unit 6 Topic 2: Motivational Theory 

Unit 6 Topic 2: Motivational Theory
Select a motivational theory, either one discussed in this unit or another that you are aware of through readings or experience. Discuss it thoroughly in your post, and give examples of applications in the nursing healthcare environment. Support your information with relevant current literature(use attached reading).

Unit 6 Topic 2: Motivational Theory 



According to Vestal (2012), motivation is that which initiates, sustains, and directs action. It is a stimulus-driven inner urge that guides human behavior response and leads to the fulfillment of perceived needs and desired goals. Knowledge of what motivation is and how it can be applied is an essential aspect of leadership and management in the nursing profession. The needs and desires that exist within an individual make up the internal motivation while external motivation includes all forces existing outside an individual. Salary, working conditions, and availability of resources make up external motivation, which is mainly controlled by the managers.

Herzberg’s two-factor theory is an example of a motivational theory, which states that hygiene and motivation factors affect satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the individual’s work environment. According to Herzberg’s theory, individuals require both extrinsic and intrinsic factors to get sufficiently motivated in their work environment. An individual can experience high or low job satisfaction and high or low job dissatisfaction at the same time.

Hygiene factors defined extrinsic work motivational factors that comprised of; health status, working conditions, supervision, job security, organizational policies, and relationship with core-workers. Unsatisfactory hygiene factors lead to dissatisfaction in the work environment, which leads to increased absences, grievances, or resignation. However, the presence of hygiene factors does not increase individual satisfaction (Keys, 2014). Every manager is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that extrinsic motivational needs of the employers are met.

Vestal (2012) States that the motivators are factors intrinsic to the job such as recognition, praise, responsibility, growth, and advancement, or changing the status through promotions. The nurse is assumed to achieve job satisfaction and motivated to perform the job when the intrinsic factors are present.Nurses who obtain intrinsic motivation work towards the overall goal of a better and improved patient outcome. Awareness of emotional and motivational states supports competence and caring in the nursing healthcare environment.

According to Key (2014), hygiene factors affect both patient and nurse functioning in the healthcare environment. The improved patient outcome depends on factors such as right working conditions, proper sanitation, availability of resources, and good relationship with the nurses. Absence of these hygiene factors affects the quality of care received by the patients; hence, lowers motivation among the nurses.

Lindqvist et al (2014) argues that high turnover and absenteeism among nurses is associated with lower levels of job satisfaction. Inadequate personal protective equipment such as gloves in the surgical units is a demotivating factor to work. Nurses in such healthcare environments fail to report to work and opt for other available employment opportunities in better working conditions. Nurses also need job security and salary assurance, failure to which high turnover gets observed. Dissatisfaction by the nurses does not only affect the organizational status but also puts the patient’s life at risk.

Motivation is a necessary factor to achievement of quality care in a nursing healthcare environment; motivated employees are more likely to be productive than non-motivated. Nurse managers should take note that different people are motivated by various incentives; thus, what motivates an individual at one time will not necessarily motivate him all the time. Hygiene and motivator factors should both get considered in employee’s motivation to enhance proper job satisfaction within the work environment.


Keys, Y. (2014). Looking ahead to our next generation of nurse leaders: Generation X Nurse Managers. Journal of Nursing Management, 22(1), 97-105.

Lindqvist, R., Smeds Alenius, L., Griffiths, P., Runesdotter, S., & Tishelman, C. (2013). Structural characteristics of hospitals and nurse-reported care quality, work environment, burnout and leaving intentions. Journal of Nursing Management, 23(2), 263-274.

Vestal, K. (2012). Which Matters: Employee Satisfaction or Employee Engagement? Nurse Leader, 10(6), 10-11.