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Posts from September, 2013

Nurse Recruitment: Nurse Educators Needed to Help Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 26th, 2013

Many nurse educators are Baby Boomers, which means a large percent of nursing faculty will be retiring at roughly the same time, leaving vacancies that will be difficult to fill.

Nursing education will be in crisis as some nursing program are in danger of losing accreditation because too few faculty members have master’s degrees in nursing. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) standard says that within an associate degree nursing program, a minimum of 50 percent of the part-time faculty must hold a graduate degree.

For institutions not feeling the immediate effects of nursing faculty shortages, the inevitable, looming retirements are a real fear. The average age of a doctorally-prepared professor of nursing was 60.5 in 2010, according to a report administered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Historically it has been difficult for universities and colleges to recruit new nursing faculty who have master’s or doctoral degrees.

In 2012, 8 percent of full-time nursing faculty positions and 7 percent of part-time positions were vacant, according to an AACN survey of nursing programs at 662 institutions around the country. Universities and community colleges have a hard time competing with hospitals, corporations and the military, who can all offer nurses with advanced degrees much higher salaries.

Retiring educators are leaving at a time when nursing services are expected to be in the highest demand. When the Affordable Health Care Act is fully in place, more than 30 million newly insured citizens will need care. The Act also calls for new health care delivery models, which means nurses will be crucial providers in nurse-managed health centers, accountable care organizations, community health centers, and clinics. This is good news for prospective nursing students, but not if there are not enough professors to teach them.

U.S. nursing schools turned away 75,587 qualified applicants to baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2011 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, clinical preceptors and budget constraints, according to the Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Indeed a nursing shortage is looming. To learn strategies for nurse recruitment and nurse retention visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Call or email me today to talk about customizing a program that is specific to your employees’ needs.

Nurse Retention and Nurse Recruitment: More Nurses Needed

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 24th, 2013

The 2013 Nursing and Allied Health Care Professionals Workforce Survey Report shows that the aging health care workforce and population, combined with health care reform, will increase demand for many health care professionals and expand the roles for current ones.  The report identifies areas where members are most challenged with nurse retention and nurse recruitment and allied health care professionals, including physicians, medical assistants, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

The report is consistent with national research showing that demand for health care professionals will continue to increase as more of the population becomes insured and accesses health care.  The aging of some professionals, mostly registered nurses and clinical laboratory technologists, will also create more demand in those areas.

Forward thinking organizations are planning to avoid the impact of a nursing shortage. To learn strategies for nurse retention and nurse recruitment visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Call or email me today to talk about customizing a program that is specific to your employees’ needs.

Nurse Recruitment News: School Nursing Shortage Affects Diabetic Children

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 19th, 2013

In August the California Supreme Court ruled that school employees other than nurses can administer insulin to diabetic children. Diabetes advocacy groups said this would make schools more accessible to the children and lift a burden from their parents.

The American Nurses Association criticized the decision, saying that allowing unlicensed school employees to deliver prescription medication could be unsafe for children and undermine the role nurses serve in public schools.

All schools will now be required to allow non-licensed staff members to give insulin after proper training and with the approval of the student’s doctor. No staff members will be forced to get the training. Instead, schools will rely on volunteers, and schools won’t be required to provide a volunteer if one doesn’t step up.

Roughly 14,000 children in California have diabetes. Only 5 percent of California schools have a full-time nurse, and 26 percent of schools have no on-campus nurse at all, according to court records. Statewide, there is only 1 school nurse for every 2,200 students.

Many more children have medical issues and require prescription drugs. Easing the school nursing shortage will improve the health of our children.

To learn more on how to recruit nurses and ease the nursing shortage visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Feel free to CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing a program that is specific to your employees’ needs.

Nurse Retention: One-Third of Employees Feel Tense and Anxious

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 17th, 2013

Employees are less depressed but more anxious than last year. One-third feel tense or anxious much of the time, according to a report published by the ComPsych Corporation.

Researchers compiled wellness data from employees to track trends in health and wellness. They identified the top 10 health problems and examined lifestyle choices and habits that affect a person’s health.

According to the report, depression moved from number 5 to number 9 of the top 10 employee health problems. Depressive symptoms decreased from 22% in 2012 to 17% in 2013.

Anxiety moved up to number 7 on the list, with one-third of employees across all industries reporting feeling tense or anxious much of the time. Many reported they frequently or always worry about their financial situation. Gastrointestinal disease moved to number 5 on the list of health problems. 29% of employees reported exercising once or less per week.

“Employees with full-blown anxiety disorders can cost employers in other ways as well,” according to the report. “They are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor.”

These are stressful and challenging times in healthcare. To learn ways to avoid and cope with stress visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Feel free to CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing a program that is specific to your facility’s needs.

Nurse Retention News: Nurses Face High Levels of Workplace Violence

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 12th, 2013

According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, in 2012, healthcare and social assistance workers made up one of the largest industry sectors in the U.S., employing an estimated 19.4 million people, or 13.5% of the total workforce. During the past decade, U.S. healthcare workers have accounted for two-thirds of the nonfatal workplace violence injuries involving days away from work. What affect do these staggering statistics have on nurse retention?

Healthcare workers risk facing physical violence and nonphysical violence, such as verbal abuse, on the job, Dan Hartley, EdD, workplace violence prevention coordinator in the Division of Safety Research, and Marilyn Ridenour, BSN, MPH, nurse epidemiologist in the division, wrote in a NIOSH blog post. The data include the incidents that are reported, and past studies have suggested assaults against healthcare workers are underreported, the authors wrote.

The free online course, available through the NIOSH website, aims to teach nurses and other healthcare workers how to recognize and prevent workplace violence. It also encourages nurses to work with employers proactively to prevent violence. The course was developed by NIOSH and others, including nursing and labor organizations, academic groups, government agencies and Vida Health Communications Inc., to address a lack of workplace violence prevention training available to nurses and other healthcare workers. The course was evaluated by 204 members of the American Nurses Association.

Learn more about the workplace violence prevention course.

Workplace violence should never be tolerated. It demeans the victim and impedes nurse recruitment and nurse retention. To learn more about how to retain nurses go to SelfCare for HealthCare. Feel free to CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing a program that is specific to your facility’s needs.

Nurse Retention and Recruitment News: Adequate Nurse Staffing Saves Lives

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 10th, 2013

Increased paperwork and charting, along with increasing complexity of care, means the amount of time nurses have for all their patients is diminishing. And as hospitals face increasing financial pressure, nurse staffing often suffers because nurses make up the biggest portion of any hospital’s labor costs.

For patients, though, the moral calculus of this doesn’t add up. Pioneering work done by Linda H. Aiken at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 showed that each extra patient a nurse had above an established nurse-patient ratio made it 7% more likely that one of the patients would die. She discovered that 20,000 people died a year because they were in hospitals with overworked nurses.

Research also shows that when floors are adequately staffed with nurses, the number of patients injured by falls declines. Staff increases lead to reduced hospital-acquired infections, which kill 100,000 patients every year.

The importance of sufficient nurse staffing is becoming irrefutable, so much so that the Registered Nurse Safe-Staffing Act of 2013 was recently introduced by Representatives Lois Capps, a Democrat from California and a nurse, and David Joyce, a Republican from Ohio.

Among other things, the act would require that hospitals include their nurse staffing levels on Medicare’s Hospital Compare Web site and post their staffing levels in a visible place in every hospital.

Concerns over money will determine whether this bill has a chance at passing. Yet data suggests that sufficient staffing can significantly reduce hospital costs. Understaffing leads to burnout and nurses’ quitting their jobs, both of which cost money in terms of absenteeism and training new staff.

Having enough nurses increases patient-satisfaction scores, which also helps maintain Medicare reimbursement levels.

To learn how to recruit nurses and retain nurses to improve staffing levels go to SelfCare for HealthCare. Feel free to CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing a program that is specific to your facility’s needs.

Nurse Recruitment News: Yes, There Is a Nursing Shortage!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 5th, 2013

A recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that nearly 600,000 new nursing positions will need to be created by 2018 to address the current nursing shortage, and the Bureau of Health Professions estimates that 90% more nurses will need to be graduated to meet that demand.

According to Vanderbilt University, 4 out of every 10 nurses in the U.S. are over the age of 50 and will retire in the next ten years, worsening the existing nursing shortage.

To learn how to prepare for the nursing shortage, strategies for nurse retention and nurse recruitment, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. Feel free to CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nurse Retention: Nurse Bullying Is Costly

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 3rd, 2013

The American Nurses Association (ANA) reports that between 18 and 31 percent of nurses have experienced bullying at work. Like childhood bulling, workplace bullying involves a real or perceived imbalance of power and repeated of the negative behavior. This can be overt, such as yelling or threatening, or it can be more insidious and passive, like refusing to cooperate or perform necessary tasks.

Whatever forms it takes, bullying in the healthcare workplace can result in demoralization, decreased job satisfaction, and/or feelings of isolation, anxiety, sadness and even depression. How do we expect to retain nurses if they are being bullied and experiencing these symptoms as a response?

Bullying can also have negative effects on patient care. In a 2008 Sentinel Alert that addressed disruptive behaviors, The Joint Commission noted that “intimidating and disruptive behaviors can foster medical errors and (lead) to preventable adverse outcomes.”

Nurse bullying is costly for employers, as it results in increased turnover. A 2009 MedSurg Nursing article by John Murray noted that “bullying in the workplace can cost over $4 billion yearly.”

The ANA released a second edition of the guidance booklet Bullying in the Workplace: Reversing a Culture last year. Now it’s preparing to launch a new health risk assessment, which will include questions about factors that could affect the health and safety of nurses, including questions about bullying.

One problem that perpetuates bullying in health care is underreporting.  The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Alert cited an Institute for Safe Medication Practices survey that found that 40% of clinicians have “kept quiet or remained passive during patient care events rather than question a known intimidator.”

The Joint Commission said, “Organizations that fail to address unprofessional behavior through formal systems are indirectly promoting it.” And in 2009, they requiring that organizations establish a code of conduct that defines and distinguishes acceptable and unacceptable behaviors to maintain their accreditation.

But it’s not enough to just put an anti-bullying policy in place. Leaders must also make certain everyone is aware of the policy and there must be ramifications of violating it.

To create an environment of respect, trust and productivity and to learn nurse retention and nurse recruitment strategies, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. You can also CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing a program that specifically meets your facility’s needs.