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8 min

10 best practices for running paid nursing surveys

Here we outline the 10 best practices when running paid nursing surveys

Feb 3, 2023


Researchers use paid nursing surveys in healthcare market research to help companies understand what nurses think about their products and services, as well as how they can improve.

Let's say that a company that manufactures hospital beds conducts paid nursing surveys. The company could hire an independent research firm to conduct a survey of nurses and ask them questions about how they feel about the beds, whether they are comfortable in them, how easy it is to clean them, and so on. Researchers would then collect this information and send it back to the company so they can use it when making decisions about which beds will go into production next year.

If you're looking to run paid nursing surveys, there are several things to keep in mind. The success of your survey depends on more than just the questions themselves; it also hinges on how you present and deliver them. Here are 10 best practices for running paid nursing surveys:

1. Let nurses know their answers will help improve patient care

Nurses tend to be busy and have many responsibilities, so make sure they know exactly how their input will benefit others.

For example: "Your responses will help us better understand patient outcomes and make changes to our policies based on your feedback."

In addition, make sure your survey is easy to complete. You don't have time for nurses to get confused or frustrated by a complicated survey. Make sure your survey is clearly written, concise, and easy to understand.

Also, ensure it's not too long. If your survey is too long, nurses will get bored and frustrated. You want their answers to be as accurate as possible, so cut out any questions that aren't important.

Ask only relevant questions. It's tempting to ask a lot of questions about work satisfaction or patient care outcomes, but that can confuse your respondents and lead them away from the focus of your survey.

2. Present information in a variety of formats, such as audio, video, etc

When you're running paid surveys for nurses, it's important to consider what format you will present the information in. The more formats you can offer your audience, the greater chance you have of reaching them and getting the right answers from them.

In order to collect information from as many people as possible, consider using different types of media: audio (podcasts), video (YouTube), text-based articles and blog posts, and even infographics! See templates for survey infographics here.

By using multiple formats, you can reach a broader audience and get more data. You’re less likely to miss out on anyone who might have an interest in what you’re offering. Additionally, you're more likely to get information from them that will help you improve your product or service.

3. Don't overload nurses with complex questions

Asking too many questions can cause confusion and frustration, especially for those who aren't doctors. Nurses are busy and want to get through their surveys quickly so they can get back to work, so keep it simple! If a survey takes more than 10 minutes to complete, then it's probably too long for your target audience.

  • Make sure your questions are clear and simple. Avoid jargon or acronyms that may be unfamiliar to some people in your target audience, for example: "What is an NPO?" instead of "What does NPO mean?" Also, avoid asking multiple-choice questions where one answer choice has two different meanings. This will only make respondents feel confused about the question itself (e.g., "Which of these statements best describes why you chose us as your preferred provider?").

Ask questions that are relevant to your target audience. If you're conducting a survey for nurses, then ask questions about their jobs and their patients. Ask them what they like or dislike about their work environment and what they would change if they could do it all over again. Ask them how they feel about certain topics (e.g., needle sticks, patient falls) and how the hospital can improve its safety practices overall.

Don’t ask questions that are too personal. You don’t want to make your survey feel like an interrogation, so avoid asking overly personal questions.

4. Avoid asking too many open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are the most time-consuming to answer and difficult to code, analyse, and interpret. They also have the lowest reliability because people can interpret them differently.

It's best to avoid open-ended questions if you can. If you must include one or two in a survey, be sure they're optional.

-Direct questions. These are the most reliable and easiest to code and analyse. They're also the shortest, so they can be more efficient to administer.

-Multiple-choice questions. These are good options for surveys that ask about opinions, but they aren't ideal for collecting factual information. They can be difficult to code and analyse, and they often have low reliability because people can interpret them differently.

-Mixed questions. These are the best of both worlds, the reliability and efficiency of direct questions, with the flexibility and ease of interpretation of open-ended questions. You can often use them as a follow up o a question that asks for opinions.

5. Ask for nurse demographics upfront

When you are designing your survey, it's important to consider the demographics of your audience. In addition, it's important to make sure you are targeting nurses who will be most interested in your survey. For example, if you are conducting a survey about hospital policies and procedures at a children's hospital, you may want to ask nurses if they have children or know anyone with children under 18 years old. This type of question can help ensure that only appropriate respondents complete the survey. This is because they are more likely than others not to have this personal connection with young people in need of medical care.

6. Keep surveys short to reduce the response burden

The more you ask of your respondents, the less likely they are to complete your survey.

Keeping surveys short is important for a number of reasons. Not only does it help you increase your response rate, but it also helps you get the most out of your survey data. It also helps you make better decisions for your company.

In healthcare, keeping surveys short is especially important because patients are often busy and stressed. They have limited time to complete paid nursing surveys. Additionally, they might not want to spend that time answering questions they don't understand or find irrelevant. By making your survey shorter, you can increase the likelihood that patients will complete it. This allows you to gather more valuable information about their needs and preferences.

If you want your survey results to be accurate and useful for making decisions about patient care, then you need to make sure that patients answer questions quickly and accurately. This is so that they don't forget about them or get distracted from answering them completely.

7. Offer monetary compensation for survey participation

You can increase your response rates by offering monetary compensation for survey participation. However, it's important to keep in mind that offering too much or too little of an incentive can be counterproductive. If you offer too much money, your respondents will not be forthcoming with their answers. On the other hand, if you offer too little compensation for taking part in your survey research project, your respondents won't see enough value in spending their time answering questions about their experiences as nurses or healthcare workers.

The amount of cash compensation should also be proportional to how long each respondent needs to spend completing all required questions. In addition to financial compensation, you can also offer free gift cards and other incentives for completing paid nursing surveys. These can be mailed out as soon as you receive valid results.

8. Work with a survey provider experienced at working with nurses and healthcare practitioners

When you're looking to run paid nursing surveys, it's important to work with a survey company that has experience in healthcare. It's also important for your survey provider to have experience working with nurses and healthcare practitioners.

The reason for this is simple: if the people who are conducting the survey don't know what they're doing, or if they don't understand their audience, then the results may not be accurate or helpful at all! The best way to ensure that your survey gets good results is by working with someone who knows how the process works. In addition, they can make sure everything goes smoothly from start to finish.

9. Include lots of examples in the survey questions to make sure the respondent understands the question you are asking

  • Provide lots of examples in the survey questions to make sure the respondent understands the question you are asking.
  • Give examples of how to answer the question. Additionally, provide information on what is an acceptable answer and what is not an acceptable answer.
  • Make sure that your example fits into a single sentence or paragraph. This is so that it's easy for people who aren't English majors (or even native English speakers) to understand what you want them to do with their answers.

10. Provide a list of definitions and terms when necessary so respondents understand your questions

Providing definitions and examples is important. You don't want to confuse respondents with unfamiliar terms, so be sure to define them in the survey. For example, if you're using a term like "surgical nurse," provide an example of what that might look like (e.g., "a surgical nurse is someone who helps doctors perform surgeries"). If there are acronyms or jargon you're using in your survey that aren't already familiar to respondents, it's helpful to include a glossary as well.

Another way to avoid confusion is by avoiding jargon altogether! Instead of saying "patient satisfaction scores" say something like "how satisfied were you with your experience at our hospital?"

Learn more about the importance of customer service in healthcare here.

The following are some examples of survey questions that can help you get a better understanding of your target audience:

-“Which of these factors is most important to you when choosing a hospital?” 

-“How likely are you to recommend our hospital? (1 = Not at all likely, 10 = Very likely)” 

-“If you were in an emergency situation, how confident would you be that the doctor working on you has been properly trained? (Not at all confident, not sure/unsure, somewhat confident, very confident)

There are important considerations to keep in mind before running paid nursing surveys

  • Provide a list of definitions and terms when necessary so respondents understand your questions.
  • Make sure nurses know their answers will help improve patient care.
  • Ask for nurse demographics upfront (such as age, gender and specialty) so you can ensure that you have an adequate sample size to make valid conclusions about the population you're interested in studying.
  • Keep surveys short to reduce response burden on busy nurses who may not have time or interest in taking longer surveys than they need or want to complete.

Use clear language and avoid jargon to make sure nurses understand what you're asking them to do.

Make sure your survey is anonymous and confidential so nurses can be honest about their opinions without fear of retaliation. Give nurses a way to provide feedback if they have any questions or concerns about the survey.

Also, check out 6 tips for designing medical surveys for nurses here.


Nurses are an important part of the healthcare system, and their opinions can help improve patient care. By following these best practices for running paid nursing surveys, you can make sure that your survey results are useful and accurate.

A nursing survey is a type of market research that uses surveys to collect data from nurses. The information collected from these surveys is used to improve the quality of care and to help hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers meet the needs of their patients.

One example of a paid nursing survey would be a survey about patient satisfaction. This survey would ask nurses about how satisfied they are with their jobs, whether or not they feel like they're adequately trained for them, how much time they spend on each patient, and more.

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