RSSArchive for February, 2013

Organizations aim to promote quality of care

Promoting quality of care is a major goal for organizations in 2013, according to a recent poll on StrategiesforNurseManagers.com; promoting quality of care received 43% of responses. In second place was improving nurse retention, with 29%, followed by encouraging staff-led initiatives (17%) and increasing staffing (11%). The poll is still active, so if you haven’t already, head over to StrategiesforNurseManagers.com to participate!

What goals has your organization set for 2013? What progress have you made on those goals since the start of the year? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Effective self-marketing is essential to a successful job search

Editor’s note: The following blog post was written and contributed by Michelle Mercurio, National Director of Career Services, Chamberlain College of Nursing.

You read the guides to a successful job search. You put in the time. You paid attention to detail, distributing your pristine resume at career fairs and professional networking events. You even practiced an elevator pitch to highlight your credentials and what you are looking for in your next opportunity.

So why haven’t you landed a new job?

If you were diligent about your search, chances are you were following a comprehensive checklist of tactics to find your next position. However, now may be the time to ask yourself if you are just running through the motions and “checking the box” on these steps, or if you are approaching your search like a true marketeer.

What’s a Marketeer?   

We know that marketers use strategies such as product placement, advertising, public relations, brand management and social media promotion to sell goods and services to consumers. Similarly, the word marketeer is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a specialist in promoting or selling a product or service.”

But there’s more to the role than the literal definition; the word marketeer conjures images of a champion marketer who stops at nothing to ensure that the product for sale is seen as a necessity by the consumer. A career marketeer applies those same strategies and promotion principles to ensure that he or she is seen as a necessity to an employer.

Be a Marketeer

Being a marketeer applies to everyone, not solely people in traditional business careers. People in all types of industries, including healthcare and education, should apply these principles to determine the next steps in a job search.

Conduct a self-analysis of all of your promotional channels – including you!

  • Audit your resume, cover letter, social networking profiles, and all personal promotion tools to ensure that they are concise and contain action words and achievements that convey the high energy necessary to drive engagement and interest from others. Clean up any imperfections, misspellings, or irrelevant information – they only serve as distractions and may detract from your credibility.
  • Analyze your job search process and identify opportunities to maximize your time. This is the strategy part of your job search. You want to reexamine those promotional activities that did not yield feedback from hiring managers. Move forward with the actions that are generating a positive response. If none of your efforts are generating a response, check in with your contacts and increase your networking.

Test the market and increase your networking.

  • Ask a few trusted contacts to spend 10 minutes reviewing your resume, cover letter, social media profiles, and in-person interview attire. Then ask them for their candid tips on how to improve your presence online and in-person.
  • Do more than just attend a career fair or networking event. Research industry topics and engage at least three new contacts in relevant discussion. Volunteer to chair an industry-related committee or lead a project. Follow up, and follow through. For example, for a nurse who is seeking a nurse manager position, this may mean volunteering to help with a community health expo in your spare time to show your business and teamwork abilities.
  • Help them help you. Ask your contacts if you can help them with a project – and then do so enthusiastically. You can strengthen your relationship with a new contact and also reinvigorate your job search by applying your skills.

Promote your brand in all interactions – and then align it with the opportunity pipeline.

  • In his 1997 article for Fast CompanyThe Brand Called You,” Tom Peters highlights the necessity of personal branding. The advice contained in this article is still very relevant for job hunters today; reference this article for ways to create and promote your brand.
  • Prepare to “wow” during your next elevator pitch and interview; instead of reciting your abilities and desires, align your communication with the available opportunity. In other words, know your audience and show how your personal brand is important to helping them achieve their goals.
  • Rally people around you by bringing energy to all of your interactions and staying positive. Infusing your interactions with excitement and camaraderie can leave a lasting impression and can increase your chances of being remembered when it comes time to hire.

Most importantly, after you do land your new career position, carry your marketeer perspective into the workplace to ensure a successful start and future growth opportunities!

 


AMA issues five patient safety guidelines

The American Medical Association issued a report that outlines the five key responsibilities that physicians should adopt when providing care for patients recently discharged from the hospital. The guidelines were developed to improve safety and reduce readmissions, according to the AMA. The five guidelines are as follows:

  1. Assessment of the patient’s health;
  2. Goal-setting to determine desired outcomes;
  3. Supporting self-management to ensure access to resources the patient may need;
  4. Medication management to oversee needed prescriptions;
  5. Care coordination to bring together all members of the healthcare team.

Read more about these guidelines and the AMA’s recommendations for each of them by reading the HealthLeaders Media article.

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the Patient Safety Monitor blog.

Hospitals still struggle to involved nurses in quality improvement activities

A study published recently in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality found that few nurses are involved in nurse-led quality improvement programs, and programs across the country do not appear to be growing at all, despite research that show the value of such programs in improving patient care.

The research team in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality study found few differences in the participation levels between nurses who were first licensed between 2004 and 2005 and nurses who were licensed between 2007 and 2008, particularly when it came to activities such as performance measurement, monitoring sustainability of improved practices, and efforts at performance improvement. The group anticipated greater variation, with the expectation that nurses from the second group would be more engaged than nurses from previous years.

While some programs did show promise, and while there has been an increase in the number of hospitals that participate in programs aimed to increase nurses’ engagement in safety and quality initiatives, the researchers concluded that nurses are an underutilized resource when it comes to improving patient outcomes. The authors of the study made several recommendations for hospital leadership, including having experienced colleagues guide new nurses in translating quality improvement knowledge into action, ensuring that nurses have sufficient time to participate in quality improvement activities, and providing timely feedback on nurses’ performances.

How do you engage your nurses in quality improvement? Share your tips and ideas in the comments section!