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Nursing reviews change across the country

Everyone has to undergo a performance review, including nurses. At some facilities, it can take place annually, maybe every six months, or even every other year. Nurses may be asked to fill out a 10-page form that helps their managers score qualities such as “leadership” or “respectfulness.” Or maybe the nurses don’t have to fill out a form, but rather have an electronic system tracking every project they do, and if a task is not completed on time, the information is logged into a performance system.

No matter the case, many organizations are changing the way performance reviews are conducted to separate top performers from underachievers. According to Hewitt Associates, 10% of managers and 11% of other employees are now judged solely on the results they achieve, as opposed to a combination of hard figures and additional behavioral characteristics. [more]

President Obama thanks nurses for their commitment

On June 16, President Obama spoke in front of more than 1,000 cheering nurse delegates and RNs at the biennial American Nurses Association (ANA) House of Delegates to thank ANA and nurses for all their hard work and commitment in the journey to passing healthcare reform.

“Nurses are the beating heart of our healthcare system,” said President Obama in a press release from ANA. “Because you know our healthcare system so well, that is why you have become such fierce advocates for reform.” [more]

June 1 nursing strike postponed; National Nurses United prepare for June 10 strike

June 10 could mark the largest registered nurses strike in U.S. history if nurses from California and Minnesota cannot reach an agreement in contract negotiations. Originally scheduled for June 1, nurses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, rejected pension and labor proposals from the hospitals, and believed there was no other option but to strike the day after their contracts ended.

Now, as many as 25,000 nurses are set to strike on June 10 over patient safety in U.S. hospitals. Thirteen thousand nurses in California and 12,000 in Minnesota are set to strike, even though each strike was not coordinated to fall on the same day. All of the nurses are members of the National Nurses United, the nation’s largest professional association and union for nurses. The nurses are also members of the California and Minnesota Nurses Association.


Bedside nurses encouraged to be patient safety champions

The University of Kansas Hospital (KUMED) in Kansas City, KS, has created a program to encourage nurse involvement in patient safety. The program, Quality Safety Investigators (QSI), is a way to improve bedside nurses’ involvement in championing quality and patient care. KUMED provides each nurse involved in the program with tools, resources, and training that focus on unit-specific initiatives. [more]

Twin Cities nurses prepare for strike

After months of negotiations, nurses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, have voted and authorized a one-day strike to take place on June 1 at 14 metro hospitals because nurses and healthcare officials could not settle on a new contract that satisfies both parties.

The vote consisted of 9,000 nurses of the 12,000 in the hospital system, with 90% voting to reject pension and labor proposals from the hospitals. Prior to the vote, nurses and healthcare executives tried to reach an agreement to no avail. Each party stood strong in its beliefs and the nurses felt they had no choice but to strike.

The Twin Cities Daily Planet summed up some of the issues discussed, which ranged from patient care to pension. [more]

In the city, some registered nurses may not make the cut

As many healthcare organizations battle the nursing shortage that is only expected to worsen as baby boomers retire and the need for healthcare grows, new nurses entering the field in cities may be greeted with this: An associate degree in nursing is not good enough.

For many new nurses, this may come as a bit of a shock. One Philadelphia nurse received this answer when applying for jobs this spring as he was turned away because organizations were only looking for nurses with a nursing degree or bachelor of science in nursing, and not an associate degree. Even though this nurse was an RN, the organization was not satisfied with his degree because anyone can obtain this degree from a community college.

Those looking to become a nurse have three different options. They can go to school for four years and get a nursing degree or bachelor of science in nursing. Option two: They can get associate’s degrees and only go to school for two to three years, while option three has the individual going to a diploma school for about three years. All three require would-be RNs to pass a licensing exam that tests basic skills; starting pay is about the same. [more]

New findings say progress means more than recognition

A new report in the Harvard Business Review contradicts the idea that employees value recognition of their efforts higher than anything else. Amabile and Kramer write that the top motivator of performance is progress.

The study involved gathering more than 12,000 e-mail diary entries from the participants, which revealed that making progress in one’s work, no matter how little or big, is associated with positive emotions and high motivation. The survey notes when participants experienced progress in their jobs, 76% of people reported it as their best day. [more]

Half of nurses plan career change, says survey

AMN Healthcare recently conducted its 2010 Survey of Registered Nurses to address the issues of job satisfaction levels and if the recession is affecting nursing career plans. The survey was sent to registered nurses via e-mail and 1,399 nurses completed the survey.

The survey found that almost half (44%) of all nurses plan to make a career change over the next three years, and that more than one-third of the respondents experience job dissatisfaction. Almost 50% of the respondents were nurses between the ages of 40-49, and 59% of the nurses currently hold a position on their hospital’s permanent staff.

AMN Healthcare’s survey also found:

  • 15% of nurses plan to seek a new place of employment should the economy improve a year from now.
  • 28% of nurses agree with the statement, “I will not be working in this job a year from now.”
  • 46% of nurses agree with the statement “I worry this job is affecting my health.”
  • 29% of nurses plan to take steps in the next one to three years that would take them out of nursing altogether (by retiring or seeking non-nursing jobs) or reduce the volume of clinical work they do (by switching to part-time or less demanding roles).
  • 8% of nurses returned to the nursing workforce over the last two years, 3% for economic reasons. [more]

Communication: Strategies to help nurses with confrontation

Healthcare is characterized by a culture of silence, especially surrounding errors. Deeply embedded in both the physician and nurse culture is the belief that good nurses or good doctors don’t make mistakes. Whether vocalized or not, we expect perfection from these human beings, and this unarticulated belief results in culture of blame, shame, and most of all, silence. The statistics are illuminating:

  • Seventy-eight percent of nurses said that it was difficult, if impossible, to confront a person or group directly if they exhibit incompetent care.
  • Fewer than 10% of MDs, RNs, and clinical staff directly confront their colleagues about concerns.

The reality is that the most common confrontation style nurses use is avoidance. Nurses frequently demonstrate a passive-aggressive style of communicating (meaning, they will tell everyone on the unit why they are upset with you, but they won’t actually come and talk to you themselves.) Learning how to confront each other is critical to patient safety, our image, and our future. [more]

NCLEX passing standard raised due to sicker patients with longer life spans

The amount of care required by hospitalized patients seems to grow every year, and many nurses in the field question whether recently-graduated nurses are sufficiently prepared to take on the demanding task.

This is the issue considered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, (NCSBN), which recently raised the passing standard on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to ensure new nurses are sufficiently ready to take on the growing needs of sicker patients. [more]