Communication is a key part of the nursing profession, and successful nurses must effectively communicate and collaborate with colleagues to ensure a high level of quality and patient care. While much has been written about the necessity of communication between nurses on the job, there is not an abundance of information or research regarding the frequency and the potential benefits of nurse socialization outside of the workplace.
A recent poll on StrategiesForNurseManagers.com asked nurses how often they spent time with fellow nurses outside of working hours. Of the respondents, 46% reported that they rarely spent time with their colleagues, and 23% said they never spent time with other nurses from their unit when not working. Most of the remaining respondents (29%) indicated that they occasionally spent time with fellow nurses, while only 2% spent non-working hours with other nurses on a weekly basis.
Meeting with other nurses outside of the hospital could provide opportunities for nurses to talk about issues and concerns regarding their profession and potentially relieve feelings of burnout. It might give nurses a chance to vent about work-related frustrations or help them rediscover the reasons they chose to become nurses. This is the theory behind nursing salons, which have been gaining popularity in many areas; these events provide a casual atmosphere in which nurses can connect with one another and share their thoughts.
While it does not need to be an official or mandatory event, inviting the nurses in your unit to come together outside of their shifts could promote conversation and foster improved relationships among colleagues. It would also let nurses connect with you and express themselves in an informal, non-threatening environment.
Would you consider hosting a nursing salon or a get-together for the members of your unit? Do you think such an event could be beneficial? Share your thoughts in the comment section!