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Posts from April, 2014

Nurse Retention and Recruitment News: Improving Mental Health in Rural Communities

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 29th, 2014

The Department of Health and Human Services is devoting more than $5 million in grants to expand health information technology to rural areas, including telehealth, which will help increase nurse retention and nurse recruitment in these high-demand areas.

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that HHS would give nearly $5.3 million for workforce expansion and the use of telehealth to improve mental health services for veterans in rural areas.

Of that, almost $4.4 million will go to rural organizations in 15 states to recruit and train current healthcare staff, local unemployed workers, rural veterans and other potential students to meet the technology needs of rural hospitals and clinics. Meanwhile, Maine, Montana and Alaska will each receive $300,000 to enhance crisis intervention services through telehealth technologies.

Recruiting Rural Nurses “Health IT is growing in rural communities and its use is even more critical now as we’re expanding access to patients living in those areas,” Sebelius said. “This investment is designed to attract, train and retain HIT specialists who might otherwise seek education and job opportunities away from their own rural communities where their skills are greatly needed.”

Public health nurses are used to enact policy, direct changes and promote health with clients in the community.

More nurses will be needed to meet this need. To learn more strategies on nurse retention and nurse recruitment, go to SelfCare for HealthCare™. Let’s talk about customizing this program for your healthcare staff. CONTACT ME today!

Nurses Need Training to Offer Spiritual Care

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 24th, 2014

Nurse Retention: Nurses Need Help with Ethical and Moral Issues

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 22nd, 2014

One place nurses can find help with ethical and moral issues is The Hastings Center, a research institution dedicated to bioethics, which offers several helpful resources. In addition, universities often post helpful information about ethics topics that nurses can access. Topics in the ANA’s Online Journal of Issues in Nursing often cover ethical concerns. These resources to assist nurses with ethical and moral issues are great nurse retention tools.

“Ongoing education in ethics is encouraged,” states Martha Turner, PhD, RN-BC, assistant director of ANA’s Center for Ethics and Human Rights. She explains that ethical concerns often change as the nurse matures in his or her role.

nurse retenion tool  - help with moral issuesThe Joint Commission requires ethical resources be available, be it a committee, an individual or a community organization, Turner said. Additionally, the ANCC Magnet program requires ethics resources.

Some hospitals provide unit-based ethics mentors who can help nurses think through the issues they’re facing.

Communication is key for helping nurses work through these issues. In fact, having conversations with the health care team and holding family conferences can help ease the ethical conflict, Pavlish suggests.

“A lot of the distress people feel, even if they don’t agree, is diminished if they have had an opportunity to communicate their view,” Pavlish adds.

Talking about the hard stuff and sharing with team members is extremely helpful and helps mitigate moral distress.

To learn more about creating an environment for safe open communication that increases nurse retention CONTACT ME today. Make sure to visit SelfCare for HealthCare™ for additional information and resources.

Self Care Tip: Exercising in Nature Reduces Stress

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 17th, 2014

Nurse Retention: Work Environment Issues for Nurses

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 15th, 2014

Nurses report communication difficulties, workplace bullying and violence as serious work environment ethical concerns. This negatively affects nurse retention and nurse recruitment.

“The hierarchy or work structure do not encourage conversations,” said Carol Pavlish, RN, PhD, FAAN, associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing in Los Angeles, who has studied early indicators of ethical challenges nurses face and has developed some strategies for helping.

“We are looking for ways that it becomes a community obligation to the patient, with collaNurse Retention Tools boration in answering questions and talking about issues,” Pavlish said.

Patient safety and staffing issues also fall into the work environment category. Pavlish found nurses reporting they do not have time to do what they intend for patients – helping them recover or adapt, or addressing patients’ emotional needs.

“They felt compromised and that some their moral obligations were not recognized by the system,” Pavlish said. Therefore, nurses often come away from a situation feeling they did not do good for those patients who did not receive optimal care.

Social media and personal boundaries also are part of the work environment concerns. Technology keeps evolving, blurring traditional rules about privacy and boundaries. Social media is a difficult problem for nurses, as to what they post and their relationships they with patients.

To learn more about creating safe positive environments for nurses, and how to increase nurse retention and nurse recruitment, check out SelfCare for HealthCare™. Please CONTACT ME to discuss customizing this powerful program for your nurses and healthcare staff.

The Factors Contributing to the Nurse Instructor Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 10th, 2014

Nurse Researchers Improve Patient Care and Outcomes

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 8th, 2014

“With the increase in the need for technology to help patients and their families become more engaged in health care decision making, nurses are leading the charge to create technologies that respond to this needs of patients and their families,” said Ronald L. Hickman, Jr., PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, assistant professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, and acute care nurse practitioner at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, both in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hickman has conducted federally funded clinical research to develop technology to promote patient engagement in health care decisions. He and his colleagues created an avatar-based simulation system that helps patients manage their high blood pressure and symptoms of depression. He is now working on developing a software application that caregivers can use to help them be proactive in making healthcare decisions for loved ones unable to make those decisions.

Here’s how it will work: Patients will interact with the chronic disease management program, which simulates a physician office visit. They practice using SBAR (Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation) communication techniques as they interact with digital characters.

“It’s like a practice run of going to our doctor’s visit,” Hickman said. His research has shown that “this type of training converts to real-life outcomes.”

Nurses are on the cutting edge of research to improve patient care and outcomes.

To learn how to retain nurses and how to recruit nurses to do this work, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. CONTACT ME with any questions about bringing this program to your staff.

Most Workers Believe In (And Benefit From) Employee Wellness Programs

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 3rd, 2014

Funding for Public Health Nurses Vital to Healthcare Reform

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 1st, 2014

Because public health nurses often work quietly, they’re often first in line when budgets are cut.

Yet in 2012, one study found that just 3% of our health care dollars were spent preventing disease. But dealing with the aftereffects of preventable chronic illness costs our country $7,900 for every American with a chronic disease. That translates into more than $1.050 trillion per year to cover those 133 million Americans!

Unfortunately, public health programs are often first in line for budget cuts because wellness lacks the drama of illness, and gets far less press and attention. One report found that the number of RNs employed in public and community health settings like schools, worksites and health departments were cut nearly in half between 2004 and 2008.

The American Nurse Association’s “Public Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice,” guides nurses work and focuses their efforts. The new 71 page working document of revised standards of practice and professional performance will inform how public health nursing moves forward and keeps our population well.

We should all help promote the important work of public health nurses, because keeping well is the very simple answer to health care reform.

To learn how to recruit nurses and retain nurses and healthcare professionals, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. CONTACT ME today for ideas on customizing this powerful program for your healthcare staff.