Blog

Posts from October, 2012

Nursing News: Lateral Violence in Nursing Environment

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 30th, 2012

As researchers take an in-depth look at the causes of nursing turnover, one of the most surprising and challenging issues discovered is that some nurses leave due to unbearable conflict with their colleagues and/or direct supervisor, which speaks loudly as to the nursing environment that is being created in most facilities.

This discovery seems paradoxical! The central focus of nursing is caring, yet interpersonal workplace conflict among nurses significantly impacts nurse retention.

The effect of lateral violence has been reported in the nursing literature for more than 20 years. Poor personal relationships among nurses in the workplace can undermine the organization’s safety by leading to errors, accidents, and poor work performance.

Lateral violence also drains nurses of their energy and challenges attempts to create a satisfied nursing workforce.

By raising nurses’ awareness of the issues and behaviors of lateral violence, the destructive cycle of this behavior can be broken. Heightened awareness will allow nurses to feel empowered to bring about significant change in their working relationships and environment.

Do you have lateral violence in your workplace? What steps can you take to change your work environment, to help retain your nurses?

When nurses take care of themselves, they take better care of others – and that includes their colleagues and supervisors. For this reason I’ve created SelfCare for HealthCare, a powerful program that improves engagement, nurse retention, patient care and outcomes.

SEND ME A MESSAGE NOW to set up a call to talk about this new, innovative program.

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.

Nursing News: How to Solve the Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 25th, 2012

It is predicted that by 2020, an estimated 1 million registered nurse jobs in the U.S. health care system will go unfilled. To care for a growing population of patients, nursing schools, health care employers and technology innovators must work together to recruit nurses and help end the nursing shortage.

Apollo Research Institute convened a panel of nursing educators, health care executives and other nursing thought leaders to propose solutions to the nursing shortage. Findings are published in the Apollo Research Institute report “Critical Conditions: Preparing the 21st Century Nursing Workforce.” The report addresses ways to improve nurse recruitment, education and career advancement to meet tomorrow’s health care needs.

Panelists identified the lack of nursing faculty as a major factor in the nursing shortage. Prospective students are being wait-listed and existing nurses are unable to continue their education. Some health care organizations have assisted by providing practicing nurses as part-time faculty or mentors.

The panel also discussed an Institute of Medicine report recommending higher levels of education for registered nurses. For nurses to achieve the recommended academic credentials, employers and higher education providers must collaborate to improve program access. Experts suggested flexible scheduling for students who work or are raising a family, professional development tracks for working nurses, and community college partnerships for associates-to-bachelors program transitions.

Technology will drive innovations in nursing practice and education, panelists noted, citing electronic health records and simulation technology. But they also agreed that nursing technology should never replace the personal touch and that it must be deployed more efficiently.

These and other shifts will require nurses to get involved in creating solutions. As the front line of patient care, nurses need to share their insights with policymakers, educators and employers so healthcare can benefit from their clinical expertise and understanding of patients’ needs.

How can you get involved to help recruit nurses and ease the nursing shortage?

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. (Check out my NEW SelfCare for HealthCare Program!) I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.

Nursing News: Increasing Male Nursing Students

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 23rd, 2012

An official American Assembly for Men in Nursing charter offers male nursing students at Seton Hall University College of Nursing a lot of support. The South Orange, N.J.-based university’s nursing program, which already exceeds national statistics for male enrollment, will likely grow because of this new charter. AAMN first appeared at Seton Hall last fall, and the chapter will receive its charter in October in San Francisco at the annual AAMN conference.

Eddie Cuza, a former medic in the Air Force, took advantage of a GI bill scholarship and applied to study nursing at Seton Hall. As the president of the student nurses’ association in fall 2011, Cuza and another student submitted an abstract about barriers for men in nursing to the AAMN. The men were invited to present their thesis at the annual AAMN national conference in Lexington, Ky.

After meeting the national directors and making contacts within the organization, the students were asked to start a chapter. The chapter started with eight members and now boasts about 20, though Cuza said he anticipates that number will increase by the end of the summer. The goal is to have 50 members by 2013.

Does your area nursing school have an American Assembly for Men in Nursing chapter? How can you help increase the number of male AND female nursing students?

One of the key elements to nurse recruitment and retention is to offer supportive, positive learning and work environments, which is why I’ve recently developed SelfCare for HealthCare – a ground-breaking 12-month program that improves engagement, retention, patient care and outcomes.

SEND ME A MESSAGE to set up a time to talk about this exciting, new program!

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.

Nursing News: How to Increase Nurse Retention in Nursing Homes

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 18th, 2012

Nursing homes wanting to improve their nurse retention rates should offer career-advancement opportunities, employee benefits such as health insurance, and develop long-tenured leaders, show the results of a Duke University study. These strategies are critical to improving quality of care in nursing homes and preparing for the future demand in aging populations.

Combination of intrinsic motivators (such as tuition and conference reimbursement and attendance awards) plus extrinsic factors (including retirement benefits and paid sick days) most benefit nurse retention in the nursing home setting, the study reported.

“Many nurses in nursing homes report satisfaction with work but dissatisfaction with work environment,” say Selina Hunt (Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.)

Employee-retention programs with paid tuition fees and career-promotion opportunities were more common among moderate- and high-retention than low-retention nursing homes. Combining intrinsic and extrinsic factors revealed that nursing homes with retirement benefits, paid sick days, were more likely to retain nurses.

One of the “most potent” factors that increased retention was high director of nursing tenure. Rapid turnover and hiring cycles in upper management destabilize the workforce as changing policies stress nursing staff.

These findings have broad implications for administrators, payers, policy makers…and patients.

What strategies do you have for recruiting and retaining nurses in nursing homes?

To learn more nurse retention and nurse recruitment strategies email me today at leann@leannthieman.com and make sure to visit my NEW SelfCare for HealthCare website!

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.

Nursing News: Hiring Faculty Can Alleviate the Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 16th, 2012

Our country must address the nursing shortage before it becomes even more expensive and serious, as the healthcare of our nation is at stake.

Recruitment of nursing faculty needs to begin in undergraduate nursing programs, and even in high school and junior high school. Federal and state government programs should provide more scholarships for graduate level students. Student loans could be reimbursed in exchange for post-graduate teaching for specified periods of time. Colleges and universities with nursing programs could reimburse school loans of junior faculty who have completed or are completing doctoral programs.

Other solutions include the integration of technology to allow schools to educate more students with fewer faculty. Simulation labs allow students to practice taking vital signs and life-saving measures on computerized mannequins before they practice on patients. State nursing regulations could be changed to allow graduate students to intern as teachers of undergraduate students, with careful oversight by experienced nursing faculty.

Researchers have surveyed nursing professors at hundreds of schools and issued recommendations. Once new faculty is recruited, it is important not to overload them with classes, so they are able to develop as effective teachers and role models. It is equally important to lower the workload of senior faculty who serve as mentors to junior faculty.

The health of the nation depends on professional nurses. To solve the nursing shortage we must solve the nursing faculty shortage first. This will assure that future nurses are taught to practice evidence-based nursing care professionally and safely.

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.

Nursing News: Higher Workload, Lower Salaries Discourage Nurse Educators from Teaching

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 11th, 2012

Several factors contribute to the scarcity of nurse educators. Unlike typical doctoral-prepared college professors who begin their academic career in their 30s, the average PhD nurse educator doesn’t begin teaching until she or he is almost 50. They also retire earlier, leaving too few teachers to educate the country’s new nurses.

These short academic careers are causing serious problems for our health care system.

Less than 1 percent of nurses have doctorates, due to school debt, longer hours and low salaries. Competition for nurses with graduate degrees also lures nursing educators out of academia and into more lucrative private and clinical sectors that pay significantly higher salaries.

Lower salaries aren’t the only reason nursing educators are in short supply. Academic roles can frequently result in 60 to 80-hour work weeks. Like non-nursing faculty on the tenure track, nursing faculty are expected to carry out teaching assignments, advise students, engage in scholarship and provide service to their school, profession and community. Nursing faculty must also remain current in their clinical practice. It is difficult for nursing faculty to balance academic roles while increasing expertise and maintaining clinical practice.

Interestingly, faculty salaries for other professional programs such as engineering, business management and computer science, are far more competitive. Do decision-makers value other professional academic programs more highly than nursing programs?

How can we recruit more nurses into PhD programs? And how can we get more instructors? Stay tuned for my next blog!

And to learn more ways to recruit nurses into all fields of nursing, email me today at leann@leannthieman.com.

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.

Nursing News: Baby Boomers Entering Medicare, Adding to Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 9th, 2012

Last year, the first of 79 million baby boomers entered the U.S. Medicare system, bringing with them chronic health problems and high health care expectations. Older Americans require far more health services than their younger counterparts, making the current nursing shortage critical. And as health care reform is enacted and millions of previously uninsured enter the system and while the U.S. population continues to expand, the nursing shortage will only become more urgent.

Without more nurse educators, that nursing shortage is even grimmer. Last year, more than 75,000 qualified nursing applicants were turned away from nursing schools across the country, in large part because school administrators were unable to fill vacant nursing faculty positions. In fact, this fall many schools will not know until the week before classes whether they will have enough faculty. Searches for deans can last for years and currently there are 64 open dean positions.

Ironically, the need for nurses comes at a time when nurses are required to make more independent, critical judgments about care. The nursing shortage is not related to a technical skills gap, but is related to a gap of professional nurses.

Do you know someone who would make a great nursing instructor? Can you help recruit nurses to teach? It’s up to all of us to end the nursing shortage.

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.

Nursing Shortage: Need Recruitment and Retention of Public Health Nurses

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 4th, 2012

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) reports a severe nursing shortage of public health nurses, a problem affecting in many states.

Georgia’s population has grown by one and a half million in the last ten years, but the public health nursing workforce has shrunk, according to the report. In the past eight years, Georgia has lost an estimated 392 public health nurses, about 22 percent, due to high turnover rates, lack of funding and non-competitive salaries.

Georgia currently has 1,400 public health nurses, and nearly 20 percent of their nurse positions are vacant. Most public health districts have a hard time recruiting and retaining nurses.

One reason for the high turnover is DPH’s inability to fill the vacancies left by retiring nurses. The low, non-competitive salary keeps qualified nurses from applying.

They are losing a lot of seasoned public health nurses, and recent graduates and inexperienced nurses are applying for the open positions, due to low salaries offered. Yet, public health nurses need experience to know how to handle the different situations that come up daily. This is particularly important since registered nurses in public health often diagnose and treat patients without a physician, an element unique to their field.

It takes a great deal of time and money to train new recruits to work independently and this training makes public health nurses competitive for private sector jobs. Many times, after at least nine months of on-the-job training, recent hires leave for less stressful and higher paying jobs – further fueling the high turnover rate.

How can we recruit and retain more nurses in public health? What are you doing to address the nursing shortage?

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.

Nursing News: Supportive Nursing Environment Decreases Medication Errors

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 2nd, 2012

A supportive nursing environment, with elements such as teamwork and involvement in decision-making, resulted in fewer medication errors, according to a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study examined the environment and nurses’ error interception practices at 82 medical-surgical units in 14 New Jersey acute-care hospitals over eight months.

According to the study, a supportive nursing environment has the following features:

•    Teamwork between physicians and nurses.
•    Nurses’ opportunities to participate in hospital- and unit-level decisions.
•    Continuity of patient care assignments.
•    Continuing education opportunities.
•    Retention of nurse administrators who are visible and accessible, who listen to nurses’ concerns and who have high expectations of their nurses.

Is yours a supportive nursing environment, one where nurses want to work?

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.