The Importance of a Positive Nurse-Patient Relationship

When seeing and interacting with so many patients in one day, it can be easy for nurses to consider patients just another name on a chart. However, a positive nurse-patient relationship is important for both the nurse and the patient. We explain how a positive relationship with patients benefits nurses below.

Better Patient-Nurse Communication

Communication between the patient and the nurse is integral to treatment. The best way for a nurse to open an honest channel of communication with their patient is by building trust, which is gained through a positive relationship.

Patients must trust their healthcare providers and communicate their symptoms, feelings, and thoughts regarding treatment thoroughly with them. We all know that we’re more likely to be more honest in communication and feedback with someone we trust, so building a trusting relationship with patients is essential to the efficacy of the treatment.


A positive relationship between patient and healthcare provider also makes for a more efficient treatment process. When patients are more open in their communication because they trust their healthcare provider fully, it takes less time for nurses to coax and pry answers and feedback from them.

Patients are also less likely to be anxious and upset if they feel they’re being heard and cared for by someone they trust, so nurses don’t have to spend as much time soothing distressed patients. It may take more time initially to gain the trust of a patient, but the long-term dividends in work efficiency are worth the investment for nurses.

Job Satisfaction

The importance of a positive nurse-patient relationship is a two-way street and just as beneficial to the nurse as it is to the patient. Everyone understands that positive relationships with people you work with make your job more satisfying and enjoyable, and this is just as true with nurses.

Building a positive relationship with patients makes the job easier and more enjoyable as you interact with patients you genuinely enjoy and care for. Negative patient relationships make each task harder and are one of the principal factors for many nurses experiencing job burnout.

Prevent Malpractice

Another reason that nurses should always strive for a good relationship with their patients is to prevent claims of negligence and malpractice later on. One of the most common reasons cited by malpractice plaintiffs against healthcare providers is they felt they weren’t being heard and the healthcare provider neglected them during treatment.

It’s frustrating for patients when they don’t feel they’re being heard and don’t trust their healthcare providers, and if the treatment results in negative effects or results, they could seek legal retribution. Patients are much less likely to make a malpractice claim against a nurse if they have a positive relationship and feel they can trust them, even if the results of the treatment were unsatisfactory.

Protect Your Nursing Career with Baxter & Associates

As professionals in malpractice insurance, we understand how important it is for nurses to protect their careers against negligence claims. We offer malpractice policies of all kinds, from nurse practitioner liability insurance to CRNA insurance and more. If you need a medical malpractice policy, request a quote online or contact our staff today.