One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to improve maternal health with the target of reducing maternal mortality by three-quarters between 1990–2015. The rendering of quality patient care requires the whole healthcare system to be functional with well-trained, motivated staff, adequate services, equipment and skilled competent leadership. However, work environment in rural hospitals is poorly resourced, thus leading to many nurses becoming de-motivated. This paper describes the factors that the nurses would like to see in their working environment which could improve quality patient care in rural hospitals. An appreciative inquiry qualitative, exploratory, descriptive research design was used. Data were collected through focus group interviews whereby thirty six participants were interviewed. The researcher used the open coding technique to analyse data. The findings revealed that nurses are motivated by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors in their working environment.