DiversityNursing Blog

Nurse Retention Requires More Than Good Bonuses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Oct 05, 2021 @ 03:37 PM

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The pandemic has magnified the Nursing shortage and healthcare organizations are struggling to not only recruit Nurses but also retain them. Bonuses are nice, but Nurses need more than that. They want to feel valued and safe in their work environment.

Healthcare organizations must ensure Nurses are equipped with resources and the support they need to provide quality care. Hospitals must invest in initiatives that attract and keep Nurses, such as:

  • Developing An Employee First Culture

Dr. Linda Shell, DNP, MA, BSN, DNS-CT, Chief Learning Officer suggests Nurse leaders cultivate an “Employee First Culture” approach in their facilities.

“An Employee First Culture is built on the concept that employees are the best asset of any company, and they need to be encouraged and appreciated,” says Dr. Shell. “When appreciation goes up in an organization, quality tends to go up. I really believe that for us as Nurses, the more we can do to create a positive work environment and develop our leadership skills, the more opportunities we are going to have to improve the quality of care that we provide every day for patients, as well as the residents that we serve.”

  • Staff Recognition Programs

"A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected." This quote has been scientifically proven to be factual. 

According to research, giving thanks can have important implications for encouraging actions that promote cooperation.

Whether it be a hand written note, or a brief one on one meeting, managers should take the time to recognize the hard work Nurses are putting in.

Recognizing Nurses on their birthdays and work anniversaries is a simple way for organizations to show appreciation for their staff.

Celebrating Nurses with a themed party or gift bags is another way to give thanks.

According to Nursing Management, realistically, quarterly recognition will suffice for larger units; however, if you have a small unit, monthly recognition is recommended.

  • Mental Health Resources

Many Nurses are experiencing severe, adverse mental health effects as a result of the pandemic, and a lot of them are considering leaving the profession entirely.

Organizations must support employee self-care by establishing evidence-based preventive strategies, providing mental health resources, and demonstrating that leadership supports and prioritizes mental health and well-being.

Some health systems are hiring a Chief Wellness Officer (CWO) to support their wellness initiatives.

Dr. Maureen “Mo” Leffler, the first enterprise-wide CWO at Nemours Children’s Health said, “The goal of the Chief Wellness Officer is to promote professional well-being, which is characterized by having everything in place in both the individual and in the system, so those two things work together optimally. When we do that, we can provide the highest quality of care, the safest care, the best care. We can derive meaning in the work we’re doing.”

  • Tuition Assistance Programs

Tuition reimbursement is becoming a popular way for hospitals to attract and retain quality Nurses, especially in areas where demand is high. 

These programs are designed to help Nurses continue their education by relieving some of their financial stress.

  • Good Communication

Routine unit or individual staff meetings should be held to discuss any issues or concerns. Nurses want to feel heard. So it's important management truly listens to what they have to say and then set up action plans and follow up.  

  • Flexible Work Hours

According to a recent McKinsey survey, Nurses that experienced more flexibility in hours and scheduling during the pandemic were highly interested in retaining that flexibility going forward. For Nurses who indicated plans to stay in their current direct patient care role, flexibility in hours and shifts was an influential factor.

Bottom line, health systems must prove to their Nurses that they are Valued, Appreciated, Heard, and Supported if they want to keep them. There are thousands of Nursing opportunities out there and you must work to retain the Nurses you have. This is just as important as recruiting Nurses.

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Topics: retention rate, healthcare leaders, nursing careeer, nurse recruitment, nurse retention, frontline workers, retain nurses, hospital retention rates, nurse hiring

Support Programs To Help Nurses Deal With Stress

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jan 30, 2020 @ 02:46 PM

supportIn order for a healthcare system to be successful in having high engagement, job satisfaction and retention, the Nursing workforce should be able to combat the stressors of the job and burnout.

Nurses can better accomplish this by having help from peer support groups and mindfulness programs.

According to a report from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), between 35% and 54% of Nurses and Doctors experience burnout. Among medical students and residents, it is as high as 60%.

Symptoms, the NAM report said, include emotional exhaustion, cynicism, loss of enthusiasm and joy in their work and increasing detachment from their patients and the patients’ ailments. The problem has been linked to higher rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide.

Many institutions are implementing stress management and self-care programs to provide caregivers with easy-to-use tools and resources to build their resilience and help them cope.

The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi implemented a new mindfulness program known as the ‘Compassionate Intension Program.’ The sessions introduce caregivers to mindfulness as a wellness tool they can utilize in both their workplace and personal lives. Currently, there are three sessions in place:

  • In Tune Tuesdays: Held biweekly, ‘In Tune Tuesdays’ are 20-minute classes designed to further educate attendees on mindfulness and how to improve mindfulness in their work environment. The classes are held at three different times to accommodate caregiver schedules.
  • Mindfulness Rounding: Also a biweekly activity, ‘Mindfulness Rounding’ features a team of mindfulness experts who visit clinical units. The experts conduct learning huddles and one-on-one conversations with caregivers, sharing quick tips. Their pocket cards or guides offer information on easy-to-implement mindfulness techniques.
  • Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop: This 8-week workshop, featuring 1-hour weekly sessions, was developed around the evidence-based standards of mindfulness experts, including, Jon Kabit-Zinn, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Center for Mindfulness, and Richard Davidson, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Healthy Minds and Oxford University’s Mindfulness Center. It offers a deeper dive into various mindfulness techniques.

Johns Hopkins Hospital, Pediatric Nurse, Cheryl Connors, RN, MS, created a peer program to provide immediate support for health providers affected by stressful cases.

The Resilience in Stressful Events (RISE) program was developed with a Pediatric Chaplain, a Patient Safety Director, a Doctoral Student, and General Internist Albert Wu, MD, FACP.

According to the American College of Physicians, the RISE program provides a team of 39 peer responders who volunteer their time to support those who call the service. RISE team members include Nurses, Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Respiratory Therapists, Pastoral Caregivers, and Social Workers. They undergo didactic, video-based, and role-playing training.

The team has been called by more than 700 Johns Hopkins employees. The hospital previously had a program offering free professional counseling but, Ms. Connors said, “They actually prefer somebody who knows what they're going through—another health caregiver who can relate—and when they need it, not a week later.”

As supporters of patients and their families, Nurses deal with a lot of stress. Health systems can help their Nurses by surrounding them with support and offering them the tools to overcome and cope with stress so they can provide the best care for their patients and for themselves.

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Topics: peer support, burnout, self-care, mindfulness, managing stress, stressed nurses, support programs, nursing is stressful, nurse retention, stress management

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