Posts from July, 2015

Mentoring Improves Nurse Retention

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 30th, 2015

New nurses can be easily intimidated by their peers. When they are expected to carry a full share of the workload, it can be frightening for a new nurse. They wonder who they can confide in if there’s a problem with something or someone.

nurse retention Preventing nurse turnover will decrease the high cost of hiring and training new nursing staff, which is estimated to be between $60,000 and $80,000. Improving job satisfaction among new nurses is key to retaining them.

One solution to nursing retention includes installation of mentoring programs, which can be fostered with student nurses, giving them the support desperately needed during their education. Nursing school is stressful, and having the guidance of someone who has been through the program can be helpful. A mentoring program provides an outlet for students to discuss day to day frustrations, fears and issues.

Some mentoring programs pair experienced nursing students with the less experienced, supporting them through the program. One survey asked nursing students their recommendations for retention.  Among their recommendations was the implementation of Nurse Residency programs and mentoring.

Mentoring first year nurses and students will help to retain nurses, improve job satisfaction and staff engagement. Visit SelfCare for HealthCare™ for the #1 nurse retention strategy. Contact me today to discuss implementation at your facility.

Life Balance: Is Your Pain Due to Lack of Sleep?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 28th, 2015

Nurse Recruitment: Physician and Nurse Vacancy Rates Increase

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 23rd, 2015

Physician and nurse vacancy rates in hospitals have increased dramatically from 2009 rates, according to AMN Healthcare’s Clinical Workforce Survey. What does this mean for nurse recruitment and nurse retention?

Hospital executives indicated a 17.6% vacancy rate for physicians, up from just 10.7% in 2009. The vacancy rate for nurses increased even more, from 5.5% in 2009 to 17%.

nurse vacancies Additionally, the survey found that 78% of hospital executives believe there is a national physician shortage, and 66% believe there is a shortage of nurses also.

Susan Salka, president and CEO of AMN Healthcare, believes the shortages are going to become more acute. “We are expanding access to healthcare and restructuring the delivery system to improve quality and reduce costs at the precise moment when a wave of physicians and nurses is set to retire,” she said. “It will take new, collaborative and innovative staffing models to ensure our workforce is aligned with the goals we all want to reach.”

To learn the most effective ways to improve nurse recruitment and nurse retention, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to get a plan in place to keep your facility out of these shortages.

The Benefits of Nurse Home Visits for Families

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 21st, 2015

Work Life Balance: You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 16th, 2015

A third of the population is obese. The number of American women who reported no physical activity in their free time increased from about 19% in 1994 to nearly 52%. In men, the number rose from about 1% percent in 1994 to 44%.

Nurses Bad Diet Still, there can be no doubt that dietary excess leads to problems. British researchers estimate that up to 40% of people in the normal weight range still harbor harmful metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity, which raises the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. They conclude that our calorie laden diets now generate more ill health than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.

But calorie counting alone isn’t the answer; the source of the calories matters too. For every additional 150 calories of sugar (say, one can of cola), there was an 11-fold increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, compared to 150 calories obtained from fat or protein. These results were independent of the person’s weight and physical activity.

The researchers conclude that changing the food intake and activity levels to reach a healthy weight are key to fighting the obesity epidemic.

“It’s time to wind back the harms caused by the junk food industry’s public relations machinery. Let’s bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity,” they write. “You can’t outrun a bad diet.”

To learn how to care for your body, mind and spirit visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss this program that cares for the caregivers so they can administer the best patient care.

Are Your Nurses Under Moral Distress?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 14th, 2015


Retaining Nurses with Childcare and Eldercare

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 9th, 2015

hospital daycareOne incentive that helps some new graduates determine whether to accept a position is childcare. Some hospitals offer safe and affordable childcare onsite with drop off times as early as 6:00 a.m. and pick up as late as 8:30 p.m. Childcare often costs $200 a week. If a facility offers childcare for $75 a week this can be an important benefit for a new employee.

Some medical centers provide day care services from ages twelve weeks until school age. This would be cost effective and convenient for the new or experienced nurses.

Many Baby Boomers are now caring for their parents, some living in their homes. Providing elder care low cost and conveniently could be a great incentive for employees.

To learn more strategies that retain nurses and provide work life balance visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today if you’d like to introduce this program to your hospital leadership.

Nursing Faculty Needed to Avoid Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 7th, 2015

The nursing shortage in the United States is expected to rise as baby boomers age and the need for health care increases, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.

This shortage directly impacts the supply and demand of nurses in the clinical work environments and their ability to deliver high-quality patient care. One of the challenges facing colleges of nursing is to identify strategies that will encourage faculty to stay.

Heavy workloads and the multiple roles of teaching, service and scholarships have threatened career satisfaction and success of nursing faculty. Discrepancies in salaries between academia and the clinical settings must also be addressed to improve faculty job satisfaction and retention.

nursing eduction nurse shortageResearch proves that as the level of education increases, the professional identification and the faculty’s intent to stay also increases. Monetary restraints can influence the decision of nursing faculty to obtain higher degrees necessary to teach. Although the federal government has made great strides in providing opportunities for nursing faculty to get financial assistance through scholarships and loan repayment programs, nurse leaders must strive to keep nursing education at the forefront of the political arena so these loans will continue to be available.

Part-time employment is sometimes an attractive incentive to encourage current faculty to stay past retirement age. Mentoring helps retain new faculty with limited teaching experience.

With the increasing shortage of registered nurses, it is essential that we focus on increasing the number of qualified nursing faculty at nursing schools throughout the nation.

To learn how to recruit nurses, retain nurses and ease the nursing shortage, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss the amazing results this powerful program has gotten in our forward-thinking SelfCare for HealthCare™ Hospitals.

Avoid Vacancies with Effective Nurse Retention

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 2nd, 2015

Some hospitals are having a difficult time filling empty physician and nurse slots, which makes effective nurse retention a priority for hospitals.

As the recession eases, things continue to improve from an employment standpoint; people have more options and are making changes in their professional lives. This affects vacancies in nursing since many nurses are the second wage earners in a household.

Vacant Nurse PositionsThe improved economy can create turnover, and the resulting vacancy rate is exacerbated by the shortage of experienced nurses. While there is an abundance of new nursing school grads, hospitals need to make sure the staff is balanced by experienced nurses. The shortage of experienced nurses, especially in specialties like operating room or labor of delivery, leads to more nurse vacancies.

That’s why it is important to focus on retention. One of the best ways to lower vacancy rates is to keep employees in their positions.

Since vacancy rates will likely continue to increase, hospitals need to start thinking 5-10 years down the road. Creating a positive environment where nurses feel cared for is the best nurse retention tool. Check out SelfCare for HealthCareand contact me today to explore this program for your facility.