Posts from December, 2013

What Employers Are Looking for in Hiring Nurses

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, December 31st, 2013

As healthcare employers deal with inevitable changes in the delivery of care, nurses can position themselves to stand out from their competition.

“We are no longer just putting someone in the job because they have a credential,” said Julie Hill, RN, BSN, CHCR, RACR, Vice President of NAHCR. “Now we have a larger applicant pool, so we can select the best nurse for the job. Many hospitals use behavioral assessment tools so they can make sure that an individual has the positive service attributes that lead to good hospital consumer assessment scores and less likelihood of turnover.”

Georgetown uses a behavioral assessment tool along with a separate reference assessment tool, Hill said. Hospitals are looking for nurses who are flexible, customer-focused, compassionate, have a strong work ethic and work well with team members.

Nurses with specialty training also are in higher demand. Nurses with experience in ORs, labor and delivery, cardiovascular ICUs or pediatric areas often have more options. Nurses who know how to use electronic health record systems also have an advantage.

Advanced education also can open doors. The demand for nurse practitioners will grow as we face a looming primary physician shortage.

To learn the most effective strategies for nurse retention and nurse recruitment go to SelfCare for HealthCare™ and CONTACT ME to discuss bringing this program to your facility.

Wishing You a Blessed Holiday…

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, December 25th, 2013


Increased Education and Flexibility Helps in Nursing Job Market

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

Nurse Job Satisfaction Improves Patient Outcomes

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

When nurses feel engaged, empowered and satisfied with their working environment, their patients are more likely to do well, too.

Thirty years’ worth of research has consistently demonstrated a link between nurse job satisfaction and patient outcomes, reports Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN, chief executive officer of the American Nurses Association (ANA).

One way hospitals can monitor workplace satisfaction and outcomes is with data, like that collected by ANA’s National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI). The program collects information from approximately one-third of U.S. hospitals, allowing them to compare unit-by-unit statistics to determine where they can make improvements.

NDNQI tracks up to 18 nursing quality measures, which ANA defines as, “Indicators that are strongly influenced by the care that nurses provide or directly measure nursing as reflected by the structure, process and outcomes of nursing care.” Among other trends, this information provides evidence of the link between nurses’ job satisfaction and the quality of outcomes for their patients.

Researchers recently noted that a 25 percent increase in nurse job enjoyment over a two-year span was linked with an overall quality of care increase between 5 and 20 percent.

NDNQI data also showed that the nurses’ intent to stay increased by 29 percent over the two years. Injury falls rate decreased by 17 percent in four years. Hospital-acquired pressure ulcer rate decreased by 24-59 percent in two years. Infection rates decreased by 87 percent in two years. The ranges are reflective of the differences among nursing units.

To improve your nurses’ job satisfaction and their patient care CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to discuss my SelfCare for HealthCare™ program.

Nurse Retention and Nurse Recruitment Video Blog: Nurses Want Work Life Balance!

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

Nursing News: Increased Nurse Staffing Pays Off

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

A new study found that increasing nurse staffing levels could help hospitals avoid Medicare penalties for avoidable readmissions.

The study appeared in the October issue of Health Affairs and covered readmissions of Medicare patients who suffered heart attacks, heart failure or pneumonia. The researchers, led by Matthew McHugh, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, looked at nurse staffing levels and readmission data from 2,826 hospitals. They found that hospitals with high nurse staff levels had 25% lower odds of being penalized compared to facilities with lower nurse-staffing ratios. Higher-nurse staffed hospitals also had 41% lower odds of receiving the maximum penalty for readmissions.

The research team estimated that each additional nurse hour per patient day brought 10% lower odds of receiving penalties from the Hospital Readmissions Program, the federal effort that started in October 2012 and aimed to reduce the $15 billion in annual Medicare expenditures on preventable readmissions. Hospitals paid about $280 million in penalties for preventable readmissions in fiscal 2013.

In a news release, McHugh said nurses are responsible for many activities associated with reducing readmissions, including coordinating care, overseeing care in the hospital, planning for patients’ discharge from the hospitals, and educating patients and their families about what to do when they return home. “It’s rather intuitive that when they have adequate staffing and resources to carry out these activities properly, readmission rates decline. This study strongly supports the idea that nurse staffing is one key component of healthcare delivery that hospitals can address to both improve patient outcomes and reduce the likelihood of being penalized for excessive readmissions.”

More nurses will be needed to meet these ratios. To learn strategies for nurse retention and nurse recruitment visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to discuss customizing this powerful program for your employees.


Nurse Recruitment Video Blog: Encouraging Males to Enter the Nursing Profession

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

Nurses Use Technology to Engage and Educate Patients

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

“Patient-centered care and engaging patients is very important to improving quality outcomes, which includes reducing cost and better health of populations in the community, but also reductions in disparities of care,” explains Maureen Dailey, PhD, RN, CWOCN, senior policy fellow for nursing practice and policy at the American Nurses Association.

She reminds us that nurses play a key role in patient engagement, instilling confidence and competence in patients’ self-care, while providing knowledge, support and symptom management.

Many nurses are finding technology can assist with their patient-engagement efforts.  “Nursing can use interactive patient care technology to proactively engage the patient and shift the responsibility for completing certain care interventions,” said Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.

Patients can document daily signs and symptoms. Care providers use technology to send daily reminders about taking medications or the need for follow-up visits.

Telehealth also allows nurses to remotely educate patients, based on information transmitted through the systems’ biometric devices. Analytics spot trends, and nurses can intervene at the first sign of trouble.

To learn strategies on caring for yourself while you care for others, visit my SelfCare for HealthCare page and please CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.