RSSArchive for April, 2010

Celebrating Nurses’ Caring: Meaningful Activities for Nurses’ Week

I would like to introduce Wendy Leebov, Ed.D., who is a new monthly contributor to the blog! She will be posting a variety of articles to help educate and empower staff. She comes to the Leaders’ Lounge with more than 30 years experience in communication, training design, and delivery. Welcome, Wendy, to the Leaders’ Lounge!

Every year in May, as Nurses Week approaches, I stop and reflect about the gifts of caring that nurses deliver to patients and families day in and day out. These gifts are remarkable.

While nurses’ acts of caring deserve recognition year-round, there are so many ways to use Nurses Week to express our appreciation and support. Here are favorites from my experience as chief human resources officer at the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network where I worked before leaving to become a full-time consultant (fanatic) on the patient experience. [more]

Death before life, a new way of teaching nurses

Nurse educators are taking a new approach to help nurses understand and feel competent in end-of-life care. How you ask? By simulating death that is.

Kim Leighton, PhD, RN, CNE, and Jenna Dubas, MSN, RN, are studying this approach as a way to successfully teach nurses about end-of-life care. The study, published in Clinical Simulation in Nursing, looked at how nursing students and practicing nurses could increase self-efficacy and competency levels for end-of-life care. (Click here to read the abstract. Full text requires a log-in.)


Male nurses try to break free of stereotype

Nurses are all too familiar with stereotypes. Just a few weeks ago, nurses around the world spoke out against Mariah Carey’s recent music video for her song “Up Out My Face.” Now, the stereotypes that male nurses face in the profession are being challenged with the help of a national ad campaign: “Are You Man Enough to Be a Nurse?”

Male nurses are rare, accounting for only 5% of the 2 million registered nurses in the United States, but the ad campaign is trying to help break through the stereotype that male nurses are homosexual and not as caring as female nurses.

The ads depict a variety of men and then provide a brief description of a hobby each man enjoys. The men shown in the campaign are dressed in nurse scrubs, sports attire, and business suits. Click here to view the campaign. [more]

Improving nursing culture in your organization

Nursing culture is shaped by many internal factors, including barriers such as poor communication between leaders and frontline nurses or a lack of respect from medical staff. If nurses are not well respected by their colleagues on the medical staff, then how do you think you can create a culture of excellence?

Leadership plays a critical role in affecting culture throughout the organization. As a leader, it is important to create an environment for a culture that is professional, reaches excellence, has mutual respect, and inspires values.

Here are steps to help change the culture in your organization.

Step I: Define your current nursing culture (positives and negatives.) What are things that you like and dislike about the nursing culture in your organization? What are the things that you need to change? What are the barriers that will block change?

Step II: Identify the changes needed to enhance professional culture. Some changes take time, but there may be policies or changes in practice that can occur immediately. Don’t forget to recognize and praise changes made throughout the year. Have you ever looked back and wondered what did we accomplish this year? Keep a log of all the changes made in nursing for the year, and then communicate this to your nurses.

Step III: Create a nursing vision and mission and then communicate this to the nursing staff. Creating a vision and mission will guide and provide structure for the nurses. [more]

Study: Board of directors missing nurses

In 2009, the University of Iowa conducted a study reviewing 201 health systems with a total of 2,046 voting board members and discovered that only 2.4% were nurses. This number comes as a bit of a surprise, as the study also found that 22% of the voting board members were physicians.

To add to the data, Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Robert Wood Foundation senior adviser for nursing and director of the RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the Institute of Medicine conducted a study of her own. She looked at the top 10 organizations that oversee quality, the top 10 hospitals and health systems, and the top 10 peer-reviewed non-nursing journals, and counted how many nurses were on the board of directors.

To Hassmiller’s dismay, she only found 2% to 4% of board spots held by nurses. [more]

Program helps improve retention rates to near-perfection

The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) AACN Nurse Residency Program TM (NRP) has helped program participants achieve a 4.4% turnover rate of first-year nurses, which is significantly lower than the  national rate of 27.1%.

So far, 61 sites have incorporated the program, which compares to about 16,000 participating nurses since 2002. In 2009, 11 participating sites had a 100% retention rate. [more]