Posts from August, 2015

Life Balance Tool: BREATHE!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 27th, 2015

Will We Ever Be Rid of the Nursing Shortage?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 25th, 2015

The nursing shortage has been a recurring problem since the 1930’s. Even with the addition of Baccalaureate and Associates, there is still shortage of nurses. According to the America Nurses Association (ANA) the USA needs to produce 1.1 million new registered nurses by 2022 to fill the newly created jobs and to replace the exodus of retirees.

nurse shortageAlthough the shortage needs to be addressed, the goal should be to find long term solutions to this problem which seems to cycle about every 10-15 years.  Besides retiring baby boomers, the shortage is exacerbated by burned out nurses, unhappy nurses, and advance degree-seeking nurses moving away from bedside.

Turnovers are extremely costly. The cost of training each replacement nurse is estimated to be between $60,000 and $80,000. During the usual 12-15 week orientation, senior nurses take lighter patient assignments, which reduces the number of nurses delivering direct care. Sometimes new nurses feel disengaged or powerless in this new environment.

Other issues impacting nurse satisfaction are salary and stress. Factors include long shifts, fear of physical injury, and inability to meet patients’ needs.

Is your facility forward-thinking in terms of the looming nursing shortage? To learn how to increase nurse satisfaction, reduce stress, and improve life balance, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss a customized plan to increase your nurse retention and nurse recruitment.

Nurse Home Visits Save Money…and Lives

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 20th, 2015

Home visiting programs lead to dramatic savings in emergency care for infants, according to a study at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

Infants in the study group had 50% fewer emergency care episodes than other babies in the first year of life. For a relatively small investment, the reward was significant. Participating families visited the ED less often than control-group families and had fewer overnight hospital stays.

Home Nurse Visits Save MoneyThe results held true a year after birth, well after the nurse’s contact with the family had ended.

The findings have significant cost implications because the price of ED visits and overnight stays often ranges into the thousands of dollars, the researchers noted. In contrast, the Durham Connects program cost an average of $700 per family.

A nurse visits new parents soon after their newborn comes home from the hospital, checks the health of the mother and baby and offers the parents tips on topics such as breast-feeding and child care. Nurses also screen for potential problems such as maternal depression. Nurses link families who need help with appropriate community services.

Forward thinking hospitals and communities will implement similar programs. To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention visit Contact me today to discuss SelfCare for HealthCare– my 12-month program that teaches SelfCare to caregivers and saves hospitals money.

How Are You Supporting New Nurses?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 18th, 2015

Two Strategies to Improve Nurse Retention and Nurse Recruitment

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

One incentive that helps with nurse retention and nurse recruitment 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 (or more). If a facility offers childcare for $75 a week this can be an important benefit for a new employee and existing employees.

Offer Daycare for NursesSome medical centers provide daycare services from ages twelve weeks until school age. This would be cost effective and convenient for the new or experienced nurses.

On the flip side, many Baby Boomers are now caring for their parents, some living in their homes. Providing eldercare low cost and conveniently could be a great incentive for these employees.

To learn more ways to retain and recruit nurses, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to learn more about how we can customize this program to fit your specific needs.


Need for Nurses Growing More Than Any Other Profession

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 13th, 2015

Nurse Health: Moral Distress Causes Nurse Burnout

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

Moral distress occurs when a person believes he or she knows the ethically ideal or right action to take, but is prevented from doing so because of internal or institutional barriers. It can result in depression, anxiety, emotional withdrawal, frustration, anger and a variety of physical symptoms. It also leads to burnout.

nurse moral distressResearchers at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., published a study of emotional and psychological anguish, known as moral distress, experienced by nurses in an ICU for burn patients.

The pilot study included 13 nurses in Loyola’s burn ICU who participated in a month-long educational intervention to decrease moral distress. The intervention consisted of four one-hour weekly sessions. The first session outlined the study aims, definitions of moral distress and related concepts. Session two focused on signs and symptoms. Session three dealt with barriers to addressing moral distress. And in session four, nurses were encouraged to identify strategies they could use to deal with moral distress.

The nurses completed a questionnaire that measured the intensity and frequency of moral distress. They were divided into two groups: One group completed the survey before the intervention, and the other, after completing the sessions.

Researchers had expected the group taking the survey after the intervention would have lower moral distress scores. But they found just the opposite: The group taking the survey after the intervention had a median moral distress score of 92, which was significantly higher than the 40.5 median score of the group that filled out the survey before taking the course. Researchers concluded that the reason moral distress scores were higher after the educational sessions because of heightened awareness.

“They indicated that learning the definition of moral distress was valuable, found it helpful to learn that others in similar work environments were experiencing moral distress and appreciated hearing what others do to cope with moral distress. Participants expressed a desire for this type of intervention to continue in the future and for more time to be spent on coping strategies.”

To learn how to identify and cope with moral distress and decrease nurse burnout, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to talk about your challenges as a nurse leader.

Balance Life Physically: Half of Women Are Inactive

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 5th, 2015