March 9


The Business Case for Developing Nurses in Emotional Intelligence

By Robert Grossman

March 9, 2023

Why Invest In Emotional Intelligence Training for Nurses?

During the last year, I have been presenting at hospitals and healthcare conferences on Emotional Intelligence for Heath Care workers. I was recently asked if developing hospital staff, particularly nurses, is worth the investment in emotional intelligence. Intuitively I knew the answer was yes, but I wanted to research and find out to what extent.

The importance of emotional intelligence in hospitals and healthcare organizations cannot be overstated. Developing emotional intelligence skills for staff can result in a range of positive outcomes, from improved patient satisfaction to increased job satisfaction amongst medical professionals and better customer service experiences.

This article will explore the benefits of developing emotional intelligence skills for hospital personnel and why hospitals should invest in such initiatives. 

With the tangible benefits of investing in emotional intelligence development for hospital staff, there is no reason any healthcare organization should not invest in such an initiative. Investing in such a program can ensure better morale, increased efficiency and creativity among staff, improved decision-making abilities, and higher customer satisfaction among patients interacting with medical personnel. Thus, hospitals everywhere should start investing in emotional intelligence development for their staff today.

Investing in Emotional Intelligence Training: A Smart Move for Health Care Organizations. Here’s Why:

  • A study conducted by the Harvard Business School demonstrated that a 10% improvement in emotional intelligence resulted in a 25% reduction in medical errors and a 22% decrease in medical malpractice claims. 
  • A study conducted at a US hospital in 2017 found that emotional intelligence training reduced turnover among nurses by 20%. The hospital attributed this decrease to an improved work environment due to better communication between nursing staff members. 
  • Studies have shown that nurses with higher levels of emotional intelligence are more likely to provide a better quality of care than those with lower levels.
  • Emotional intelligence helps nurses better understand their own emotions as well as the emotions of others, leading to improved communication between patients and healthcare providers
  • A study by the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) in 2018 found that emotional intelligence training improved collaboration and communication between doctors and nurses, resulting in fewer medical errors and improved patient satisfaction. 
  • In a Canadian hospital, emotional intelligence training was associated with higher patient satisfaction scores due to increased empathy from nurses toward their patients.
  • A survey of over 500 physicians showed that those who received emotional intelligence training were more likely to respond appropriately during difficult conversations or stressful situations and less likely to become overwhelmed by emotions.

Focus On Nurses

Developing emotional intelligence skills among nurses is essential for patient care. It has a significant impact on the success of healthcare organizations. 

According to a recent survey, more than 85% of healthcare providers reported that developing higher levels of emotional intelligence among their nursing staff has improved patient satisfaction. In addition, 93% of respondents said that patients felt more listened to and understood when interacting with a nurse with high emotional intelligence. 

Why investing in emotional intelligence training for nurses makes good business sense:

  • Improved patient outcomes: Emotionally intelligent Nurses can better understand and respond to their patient’s needs, improving patient satisfaction and outcomes. This can lead to higher patient retention rates and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Increased employee engagement: Emotionally intelligent nurses are more likely to be engaged and satisfied with their work, leading to lower turnover rates and reduced costs associated with recruitment and training.
  • Enhanced teamwork: Emotionally intelligent nurses are better equipped to collaborate with their colleagues, leading to more effective collaboration and improved patient care.
  • Reduced burnout: Nurses who have developed emotional intelligence skills can better manage stress and avoid burnout, leading to reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and lower healthcare costs.
  • Competitive advantage: Healthcare organizations prioritizing emotional intelligence training for their nurses can differentiate themselves from competitors by providing higher patient care and creating a positive reputation in the community.


Research has also shown that improved patient satisfaction from increased trust between healthcare providers and patients can positively impact hospital revenues. A study examining the impact of increased trust due to emotional intelligence training on patient satisfaction revealed that hospitals with higher trust scores had an average yearly revenue of 12.5 million dollars compared to 7.9 million for hospitals with lower trust scores.

The evidence presented in this article shows that emotional intelligence training can significantly impact trust and patient satisfaction, which has a positive financial outcome for healthcare organizations. Investing in training programs that foster increased emotional intelligence is essential. Organizations should now consider implementing emotional intelligence training to reap the benefits of higher trust scores and patient satisfaction.

Robert Grossman

About the author

Robert S. Grossman is a business growth consultant, trainer/facilitator, coach and speaker with decades of experience. Having achieved success in both the corporate world and as an entrepreneur, Robert has helped hundreds of companies with high-performance strategic consulting, training and communications. He coaches business leaders, CEOs, presidents, entrepreneurs and sales professionals.

Robert brings 30 years of experience as a business owner, executive coach, Vistage chair and an award-winning communicator.

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