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Posts from November, 2012

Nursing News: Clinical Settings Needed to Increase Nursing School Enrollment and End the Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 29th, 2012

To end the nursing shortage and avoid the pending crisis, we need to educate more nurses. The challenge is finding more instructors and clinical settings. Nursing schools are limited with the number of students they can admit, and some schools have to decrease admissions because of limited clinical space and inadequate faculty numbers. Clinical settings require at least one faculty member per eight students; in some settings, that ratio is even smaller.

There is competition for clinical space, as multiple nursing programs at various colleges vie for space at nearby acute care facilities, mental health institutions and long-term care facilities. Because the clinical experience is a major part of a nursing program, the lack of space also limits enrollment growth.

Some hospitals are working with area nursing schools to help provide clinical educators and space thereby increasing student interest in future employment there. While doing a recruitment and retention event at a Florida hospital, I was impressed to see that they had devoted a small clinical area for the training of nurses from a local community college. The hospital provided qualified nurses to be educators for the program and many of the graduates elected to work there after graduation. A win/win/win solution!

To learn more nurse recruitment and retention strategies and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, check out my new SelfCare for HealthCare program. After you take a look, CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to set up a time so that I can answer any question you might have about this powerful, transformative program.

Nursing News: Nurse Recruitment in High Demand in Some Areas

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 27th, 2012

More trained nurses are needed to give direct patient care and to teach. While many new grads complain about not being able to find jobs, Northwest Texas Hospital has about 80 job openings for registered nurses and an increased need for effective nurse recruitment.

Area nursing schools are working with Northwest to graduate more nurses, especially with health care reform changes. More people are expected to be insured; therefore more people are needed to provide primary care. Family nurse practitioners will help meet that need. These advanced practice nurses are educated at the master’s and doctorate levels. They’re going to be needed more at clinics, churches, and schools where they practice more independently.

Major employers of nurses and schools in Texas are meeting every two months to ensure enough nurses are graduating.

The Institute of Medicine is asking universities and colleges to get the workforce of registered nurses up to 80% by 2020. The schools of nursing are recruiting younger nurses into the profession, which is good, because there’s going to be a large number of baby boomers retiring from nursing over the next five to ten years.

To learn more nurse recruitment and retention strategies and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, check out my new SelfCare for HealthCare program. After you take a look, CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to set up a time so that I can answer any question you might have about this powerful, transformative program.

I’m Thankful…

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 22nd, 2012

As you know one of my favorite quotes and messages for the world is that it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. On this Thanksgiving Day I want to thank you for all the candles you light in the world (and in me!) and to share this great quote with you:

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nursing News: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Helps End Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 20th, 2012

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has made great strides in addressing the nursing shortage in the United States. It focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country.

As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For forty years, the foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the foundation makes a difference.

All nurses should applaud their benevolent efforts to help us care for others.

To learn more nurse recruitment and retention strategies and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, check out my new SelfCare for HealthCare program. After you take a look, CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to set up a time so that I can answer any question you might have about this powerful, transformative program.

Nursing News: Poor Economy Affects Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 15th, 2012

The demand for nurses is tied to the economy. When the economy slumped, older nurses who had planned to retire remained in the workforce and some working part-time increased to full-time. As the economy slowly improves, nurses will retire, creating more openings.

The nursing shortage, however, will only become more dismal. Nursing schools are limited in the number of students they can admit, and some schools have to decrease admissions because of limited faculty and clinical space.

Clinical settings require at least one faculty member per eight students; in some settings, that ratio is even smaller. A school can expand its enrollment only if it has enough faculty to do so.

Finding qualified faculty is imperative to training more students. We need to promote nursing educator careers as a good choice for nurses. The challenge is that nurses with the same level of education in the teaching arena make less than their counterparts in a hospital setting. This is an increasing problem in a struggling economy.

What can we do to make the pay more equitable? Let me know your thoughts.

To learn more nurse recruitment and retention strategies and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, check out my new SelfCare for HealthCare program. After you take a look, CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to set up a time so that I can answer any question you might have about this powerful, transformative program.

Nursing News: Nursing Educators Needed to End Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 13th, 2012

Indiana University School of Nursing has been awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education grant to study the stages of decision-making that lead to careers in nursing education. Findings will be used to develop strategies for increasing enrollment in doctoral programs and also the numbers of graduates who seek and are retained in faculty roles, helping ease the nursing shortage.

The study is titled “Exploring the State of Doctoral Education: Implications for the Nursing Faculty Shortage.” This research will be instrumental in helping to address the need for more nursing faculty. The study will investigate decisions made by MSN-prepared nurse educators when seeking a doctoral degree; those factors considered by doctoral students choosing between a Ph.D. and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree; decisions of doctoral students seeking faculty positions; satisfaction of recent doctoral graduates with academic and/or practice roles; and intentions of recent graduates to stay in their current roles.

The Institute of Medicine Report “The Future of Nursing” identified addressing the shortage of nursing faculty and doctorally prepared nurses in the United States as a top priority.

This research addresses six areas of need that are critical to achieving the recommendations from the IOM report on ‘The Future of Nursing’: one, teaching productivity in nursing education; two, faculty preparation in nursing education; three, the shortage of doctorally prepared nursing faculty; four, career decision-making among doctoral students in nursing; five, effectiveness of strategies for leveraging the expertise of existing faculty to teach more doctoral and undergraduate students in nursing; and six, strategies to improve recruitment and retention efforts for nurse faculty.

To learn more nurse recruitment and retention strategies and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, check out my new SelfCare for HealthCare program. After you take a look, CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to set up a time so that I can answer any question you might have about this powerful, transformative program.

Nursing News: Mentors Increase Nurse Retention

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 8th, 2012

Considering that 20% of first year nurses quit, it is more important than ever that they have a mentor for their first 6 to 12 months on the job to increase nurse retention. Equally important is for the mentor to be compensated for this extra investment of time and responsibility. Some hospitals give money, others extra days off, and one that I know of gives airline tickets!

Preceptors should be of the highest level in training, maturity, and experience and possess a willingness (and patience!) to train other nurses. They need to be knowledgeable in aspects of leadership and hospital policies and foster open communication to help the newcomer overcome fear of a new job. Checklists and competencies must be monitored by the preceptor and the education coordinator to help the new employee cover all the stated areas of the hospital policies and procedures.

Retaining these first year nurses is crucial, because training new employees due to high turnover rates is expensive for healthcare facilities. Costs include advertising and recruitment; orientation and training; and vacancy cost to fill the position temporarily with overtime.

Often the preceptor and new hire form a relationship and bond that grows over the years. The newly-hired nurse can also bring fresh ideas to the organization.

Mentoring is a great investment…everybody wins.

To learn more nurse recruitment and retention strategies and how to increase work life balance for nurses check out my new SelfCare for HealthCare program. After you take a look, please feel free to reach out to me directly at leann@leannthieman.com with any questions or to set up a call.

Nursing News: How to Decrease Nurse Burnout and Increase Nurse Retention

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 6th, 2012

There is a stress-free zone for nurses to rest and regroup at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania. The hospital turned an area that was previously used for radiology into the Center for Nursing Renewal, which opened in October 2011, in an effort to decrease nurse burnout. In this area nurses can take time away from their day on a routine basis or if something has gone wrong, to regroup and reenergize. From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., nurses can freely enjoy a break room, personal meditation room, lactation lounge, massage chairs, televisions, computers and free fitness and nutrition classes.

A recent School of Nursing study found a direct correlation between overworked nurses and patient infections, injuries and death rates. The study surveyed more than 7,000 nurses in Pennsylvania and found them to be overwhelmingly dealing with burnout-related issues, including too many overtime hours and patient load increases.

The nurses dealing with burnout had a patient load average of 5.7 per shift. When increased by one more patient, there were 1,351 additional infections reported, according to the study by the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research.

Though nurse burnout isn’t a pressing issue at HUP, the hospital has been making great effort to prevent it. Nurse burnout can arise from emotional exhaustion and continuous exposure to difficult patient and families. It is a sustained condition over time that is different for each individual.

Although HUP is doing its part to minimize nurse burnout, the individual nurses can help prevent it as well. Burnout can stem from a work-life imbalance and lack of self-care. Employees should come to work well-rested, strong in mind, body and spirit.

Monitoring how much overtime nurses sign up for is a way to help them balance their workload. Overtime regulations make hospitals safer for both patients and nurses.

However, even if a hospital takes every precaution to prevent nurse burnout, it can still happen. It is the nurses’ responsibilities to nurture themselves physically, mentally and spiritually, to reduce occasion for burnout.

My new SelfCare for HealthCare program reduces staff burnout, boosts morale, increases retention, and raises patient satisfaction scores. SEND ME A MESSAGE NOW to set up a call so we can talk about bringing this powerful program to your facility.

Nursing News: Nurse Educators Needed

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 1st, 2012

Nurses are in high demand, yet nursing schools struggle to find enough nurse educators to teach students so enrollment can increase to meet the demand.

To teach in a nursing school, nurses need a master’s and/or doctorate degree. Unfortunately, those people are offered much higher salaries in clinical/medical settings, often more than public universities and colleges can offer. This turns a lot of potential nurse educators away, resulting in a small pool of talent from which to hire. Nursing faculty must have a blend of nursing and teaching expertise.

Public universities and colleges have a challenge because the states set the ceiling on tuition. Private universities do not have that ceiling, putting public institutions at a disadvantage for increasing salaries.

There are many high school graduates who are interested in going into nursing, which would ease the nursing shortage. But due to lack of educators, colleges are not able to admit all those who meet the criteria.

Another challenge the country will see in 2014 is the need for more nurse practitioners, since there is expected to be a shortage of primary care doctors. There are not enough educators to train the NPs and PAs, so we will be looking at another nation-wide shortage.

Some institutions are addressing the shortage of nursing educators through the use of part-time faculty working in clinical teaching environments. Full-time faculty can then concentrate on curriculum-based and skill-building instruction.

Some higher education boards offer funding to institutions to help extend the available faculty resources through the use of technology and simulation. Recruitment efforts for nurse educators is ongoing, encouraging nurses to move into education with retention programs and programs that promote the importance of educating the next generation of nurses, enriching young minds.

Most colleges agree that if they had double the number of nursing faculty, they could expand the number of nursing students and could teach and graduate more nurses, NPs and PAs.

Nursing educators are crucially important; they change communities, they change lives through those they teach, and without them many challenges may lay ahead.

SEND ME A MESSAGE NOW to set up a call to talk about my new SelfCare for HealthCare program which helps with nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance.