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Posts from October, 2009

Top 10 Nursing Schools in the USA

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 29th, 2009

nursingstudentIn the past several years all the top ranked nursing schools in America have stepped up their recruitment programs in efforts to meet the demand for nurses from here in the USA.

Here is a list of the Top 10 Nursing Schools in the country:

  1. University of California
  2. University of Washington
  3. University of North Carolina
  4. University of Illinois
  5. University of Pennsylvania
  6. University of Pittsburgh
  7. University of Texas
  8. John Hopkins University
  9. Yale University
  10. University of Michigan

Top ranked Nursing Schools are all recognized and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC.

Interestingly,these schools are located from one coast to the other, and in mid America too. I applaud these top 10 and am eager to learn more about their recruitment efforts.

To learn how to recruit and retain nurses in your area, contact me. I’ve got lots to share!

Make Your Place a 10

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 26th, 2009

happyfaceOne of the best nurse retention tools is to empower your staff to create an environment where others want to work. This is also a powerful nurse recruitment tool.

Think about it. If every staff member took on the responsibility to make just one change that would make a better work environment, what a positive productive place you’d have!

Form a committee to create a program for each staff member to offer one idea that answers this question: “What changes would you suggest that would make working here a 10?” Then, empower them with the freedom to list these suggestions, the possible obstacles, and solutions.

This will engage your entire team and help you recruit and retain you nurses.

My Each One Reach One Nurse initiative has lots more ideas! Contact me...I’d love to share them!

Encourages Your Nurses to Sleep?!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 22nd, 2009

sleep2Centra Hospital in Lynchburg VA. had a great idea to care for their nurses. They created a formal sleep education program for new nursing staff. In addition to sleep stategies, all new graduates receive a sleep mask and ear plugs as well as a sleep consultation with Centra’s Sleep Disorders Center.

With so many new nurses adapting to night shift work, lack of sleep can become an issue that impacts job satisfaction. No wonder Cheryl Burnette,  Centra’s nurse retention coordinator,  earned national recognition at the 2009 Nursing Management Congress.

With so many new nurses adapting to night shift work, lack of sleep is an issue that impacts job satisfaction.

What a great nurse recruitment and retention tool! Who wouldn’t want to work for a place that cares for their nurses in this way, implementing this quality of life tool?

When I speak to nurses, giving life balance tools, I encourage them to sleep. I’m always amazed at how grateful they are, like this is a new idea!

It is an “old” idea, but a great one. Help your nurses sleep.

To get more of my life balance tools and recruitment and retetention ideas, contact me. I can put your nurses to sleep. 🙂

45% of employees plan to change jobs?!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 19th, 2009

education1I just read (from the Herman Trend Alert) that, perhaps as a result of fear and/or the current state of the economy, nine out of ten employees in the U.S  “are satisfied with their current work situations.” That’s the good news.

Interestingly, 45 percent plan to change “jobs, careers, or industries” when the economy recovers. How can y0u keep them, you ask?
One of the top perks employees will be looking for is training and continuing education, said 61%. Yet what is the budget that is usually the first to be cut? That’s right, education dollars.
Forward-thinking companies and hospitals will heed this warning and take steps now
to avoid this unwanted turnover.
It is crucial to offer ongoing education and training to retain your best and most experienced staff. That is one of the strategies in my Each One Reach One Nurse initiative. To learn more ideas like this, about how to recruit the nurses you need and retain the best you have, contact me.

What to Keep Your Experienced Nurses? Boost Their Morales!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 15th, 2009

oldernurseExperienced nurses provide quick and accurate assessments of patient health and well-being, mentor less experienced staff, maintain institutional memory, and perform numerous other vital functions.

As the population ages, and the baby boomers need  more hospital care, retaining veteran nurses will be even more critical. But today’s nursing workforce is also aging, and numerous surveys find that more than half of today’s employed nurses plan to retire in the next 15 to 20 years.

There are solutions; hospitals, medical centers and other health care organizations can initiate activities that help to keep more veteran nurses at patient bedsides, according to a new study supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and coordinated by The Lewin Group.

The study, “Wisdom at Work: Retaining Experienced Nurses,” finds that many hospitals  lowered turnover rates among experienced nurses by making a concerted effort to improve nurse morale and productivity.

Ergonomic initiatives, such as teams and equipment to help nurses lift patients and other heavy items, did not contribute to an overall drop in turnover among experienced nurses; however, they did improve morale and cut expenses associated with work-related injuries, the study finds.

Foward-thinking hospitals paying attention to the morale of their nurses during these challenging times. When I deliver “Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul” to staff, I give them tools to care for themselves as they care for others and honor them for all they do. They leave renewed, recharged, and recommitted.  I can help boost your staff morale and help you retain your experienced nurses. Contact me.

Rural Nurses Needed

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 12th, 2009

ruralI grew up on a farm in Iowa and still go back 5-6 times a year to my “roots.”  Because many of my family members are cared for in rural hospitals, I’m acutely aware of the need for nurses in rural community hospitals and other health facilities.

Some have had to down-size their services or reduce care options for short periods of time because they do not have the staff to cover shifts. This is forcing rural health care employers to find creative ways to attract nurses to rural areas.

When I was helping a rural Kansas hospital recruit and retain nurses, they said they “grew their own.” They regularly go into local schools and tell boys and girls about the joys and excitements of nursing. While some  kids still go “to the city” for awhile, they are often draw back to their “roots” and come “home” to care for their community.

For more ways to attract young people to your facility, contact me.

Be Flexible!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 10th, 2009

nursecolorAccording to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, “flex-time” is the most popular work schedule offered, with two-thirds of the companies offering such a benefit. Because of the increase in two income households, raising children, and the need to find a healthy balance in one’s life, a flexible work schedule has become an important part of a nurse’s career.

Flexibility options can include meal flexibility, part-time work, time for family responsibilities, number of vacation days each year, shorter shifts, providing options for extended unpaid vacations, job sharing, and, for some, working from home.

As I travel helping hospitals to recruit nurses and retain nurses, I hear repeatedly that flexible work schedules helps increase productivity. It also increase morale and decreases training expenses.

I can help you discover ways to retain employees,too. Contact me.

Is There Value in Retaining the “Older” Nurse?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 7th, 2009

oldnurses1Is there value in retaining the older nurse in an increasingly chaotic health care system? The answer is a resounding yes!

Most of us baby boomers aged 55 and over are healthy and vibrant with a robust 10 to 30 years of additional life expectancy. Yet more than 82 percent of nurses over 40 plan to retire in the next 20 years.

Most are  intuitive and accomplished in their decision-making skills and, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Wisdom at Work Report, “Salt of the earth” team players.

As I travel and speak to thousands of nurses each year, the “older” nurses tell me they would love to work more years, if some simple accommodations could be made. In my Each One Reach One Nurse initiative, we list ideas to help retain these experienced wise nurses. Contact me to help your hospital find these solutions, specifically for your staff.

School Nurse’s are Real Heroes

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 2nd, 2009

schoolI was a school nurse for 4 years  when I lived in Tucson AZ, and have a great appreciation for these often-unsung heroes. As students head back to school this fall, more than 66,000 nurses are resuming their roles in school clinics across the country to take care of not only our kids, but their teachers and staff.

School nurses are on the cutting edge of the public health. They are the ones who detect abnormal health patterns in schools and it is they who alert the health departments.

It was a school nurse who identified the first U.S. case of the H1N1 virus earlier this year. I can’t imagine how busy they are now with the flu epidemic! One local school here in Fort Collins CO has 20% absentee rate because of the Swine Flu.

It’s time school nurses get the recognition they deserve.

Several years ago I spoke at the national convention for National Association of School Nurses and I’m tickled pink to be their nurse motivational speaker again this year on June 30th.The deserve some inspiration.

We need a lot more nurses in this specialized area. Can you help recruit nurses to work in our schools? To learn more about ways to recruit nurses, contact me. I have lots of proven  ideas.

In the meantime, hug a school nurse and give her/him a big thanks.

You Just Gotta Laugh!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 1st, 2009

bradgrandmasmall2Laughter is indeed the best medicine.

One of my best friends and the funniest motivational speaker is Brad Montgomery. Being with Brad, it’s easy to keep up with the little kids who laugh 400 times a day.

Brad called me from a book store in the Seattle airport recently, all excited to tell me he was holding one of my books in his hand, Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul.

I could hear him as he stopped total strangers to say, “I know her! She’s my pal?” I’m sure the looks on their faces were confusing when he added, “She’s right here on the phone, do you want to talk to her?”

Brad reminds me of the benefits of laughter. It releases endorphins and even boosts our immune systems. Maybe that’s the best way to ward off the flu…laugh more often with our friends, family, coworkers and Brad.

If nurses and  all healthcare workers laughed more, we wouldn’t burn out or quit. Laughter in the workplace is a great nurse retention tip.

For more tips on retaining nurses and balancing your life with laughter, contact me.