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What to know about new nurses: Motivating millennials

Last year, millennials passed Gen Xers in workforce numbers, and now make up the majority of the workers in the  U.S. according to the Pew Research Center. Another study shows that two out of three millennial workers hope to have a different job in five years, and that one in four said they might leave their job to pursue a different career. Nursing is not immune to this trend, so it’s more important than ever to keep your young staff motivated and engaged to prevent short-staffing. Below are some tips for engaging your millennial staff!

Show trust: Millennial workers tend to have an independent streak and want to find their own way; by showing your staff that you trust them to make decisions will bolster their confidence and engage their creativity. If you micromanage young workers, their more likely to pull away from your group and look elsewhere for career advancements.

Provide support and access:  Showing trust does not mean leaving them alone. Millennial workers want to hear feedback from their superiors, and providing frequent in-person contact is very important for their job satisfaction. Make sure you’re willing to listen to them and provide support whenever possible.

Emphasize relationships: Similarly, millennial workers have a strong sense of commitment to others and seek to establish meaningful connections with their coworkers.  Try to cultivate a close-knit staff by encouraging social outings and holding staff events; the unit will work better as a team and young staff will feel more connected to their job.

Talk about the future: Millennial workers are not likely to wait around for career advancements. If you can outline a career trajectory in your facility and help them get there, your young staff will be much happier in their position. Try to keep bureaucratic road blocks to a minimum, and you could have a future nurse leader for your hospital.

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What to know about new nurses: Tackling Turnover

Hiring a competent nurse staff is only half the battle. The other half is keeping them. A new study published in Nursing Ethics found the turnover rates for RNs is 16.5%, with each resignation costing a hospital between $44,380 to $63,400 a nurse. Furthermore, newly licensed nurses scored lower on job satisfaction and were more likely to leave their job within two years.

The Nursing Ethics report found that intergenerational conflict was a big part of nurse dissatisfaction; with millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers butting heads at the hospital.

“Younger generation nurses feel like they don’t have power over their practice, they’re not in charge, and that is logical because they are novice practitioners,” study author Charleen McNeill said in a press release. “However, they bring a knowledge of technology that seasoned nurses may lack. In turn, more experienced nurses support the clinical learning and professional role formation of new nurses. Successful nurse-leaders find ways to garner the strengths of each generation of nurses to achieve the best patient outcomes.”

McNeill said instead of looking at it as conflict, nurse-leaders need to leverage the strengths of each generation and determine strategies to empower all generations of nurses. Their research suggested a strong correlation between professional values and career development. They also found that both job satisfaction and career development correlated positively with nurse retention.

“The work culture that leaders create – the environment that nurses are working in – is the most important thing related to retention,” McNeill said. “It’s very expensive to hire new nurses. When we have good nurses, we want to keep them so we need to understand what’s important to keep them.”

For more tips on retention, conflict resolution and recruitment, check out the following articles from our Strategies for Nurse Managers site!

Happy Nurses Week: A thank you to our favorite nurses

Is there any doubt that nurses heal the spirit, as well as HappyNursesWeekthe body?

The stories in The Boston Globe annual “Patients Salute Their Nurses” piece offer an inspiring and humbling testament to all the nursing profession can be.

In 400 thank-you letters from grateful patients, family members, and colleagues, Boston’s nurses received personal acknowledgment and messages of love inspired by their deep commitment to the profession and their patients.

Here are snippets from some of my favorite letters:

Diane goes above and beyond, treating me with dignity and respect, even calling me weekly to check on my weight and well-being. Like a friendly drill sergeant, she reminds me to keep my weight down and to pay attention to what I eat.

Joe provided intense, meticulous, and sensitive care not only to Mike, but also to his extended family. Joe’s quiet and steady presence gave us hope and strength when we needed it most. Mike did not make it through the night, but the blow of his passing was softened by the gift of time that Joe made possible.
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Pay equity: Who said it?

As a footnote to Rebecca’s post regarding Barton Quoteour reader poll focusing on pay equity between male and female nurses, I want
to share the following quote with you…

Without doing a Google search, can you identify the speaker? Add a comment if so…

Change agent: Download your action plan for new staff

preceptor package

Yesterday I promised you a free tool adapted from
The Preceptor Program Builder, by Diana Swihart
and Solimar Figueroa.


If you’d like to download their Action Plan for New Nurses, you’ll find it here

Ben Franklin’s advice to nurse preceptors

Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.

How do you provide preceptees with constructive advice Ben Franklin2
or feedback? Do you tell them what they did wrong and spell out how to correct it? Or do you encourage them to use critical-thinking skills to truly ingrain a personal understanding of ways to improve their practice?

Look at these two approaches to feedback, and see which you think would be more effective. (More examples excerpted from The Preceptor Program Builder can be found in the Reading Room.)

The preceptor observes the preceptee greeting the manager correctly, giving her name, and stating that she is a preceptee. However, she was not wearing her name tag.

Evaluative feedback
Your name tag is missing, and the manager
won’t like it!

Descriptive feedback
You greeted the manager according to the facility protocol.
Can you think of anything that would help your manager remember you?

The descriptive feedback encourages the preceptee to use critical thinking, which illustrates Ben Franklin’s timeless recommendation to “involve me, and I learn.”

If you would like to share “aha” moments and techniques for constructive feedback, please feel free to comment below…

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!

 

Live webcast: Onboarding New Graduate Nurses

Just a reminder that HCPro will present a live, 90-minute webcast on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 1:00-2:30 (Eastern) called Onboarding New Graduate Nurses: How to Overcome Hurdles and Retain New Nurses. The webcast demonstrates how the onboarding process for new graduate nurses will increase retention and speed up professional growth.

Nursing professional development experts Diana Swihart, PhD, DMin, MSN, APN CS, RN-BC, and Jim Hansen, MSN, RN-BC will discuss topics such as externships, internships, unit orientation, cultural and social integration, and nurse residency programs. They will also show how onboarding is key for moving new graduates beyond academic theory and technical skill to become competent, confident, professional nurses. Following the program, Diana Swihart and Jim Hansen will participate in a live question and answer session.

This webcast promises to be a great resource for nurse managers, assistant nurse managers, nurse leaders, charge nurses, directors of nursing, patient care managers, directors of patient care, directors of staff development, nursing professional development specialists, chief nursing officers, VPs of nursing, VPs of patient care services, and nurse residency coordinators. Sign up now and pay one price for your entire staff!

For more information or to sign up for the webcast, please visit www.hcmarketplace.com.

Live webcast: Onboarding New Graduate Nurses

HCPro will present a live, 90-minute webcast on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 1:00-2:30 (Eastern). Onboarding New Graduate Nurses: How to Overcome Hurdles and Retain New Nurses demonstrates how the onboarding process for new graduate nurses will increase retention and speed up professional growth.

Join nursing professional development experts Diana Swihart, PhD, DMin, MSN, APN CS, RN-BC, and Jim Hansen, MSN, RN-BC, as they provide strategies for helping new graduate nurses navigate their first job hurdles through the onboarding process, from pre-hire to a successful transition into professional practice. Moving new graduates beyond academic theory and technical skill to become competent, confident, professional nurses begins with onboarding.

Here’s a look at the agenda for the webcast:

  • Pre-hire onboarding: Externships, selective hiring, BCAT, physicals, medication administration exams, and interviews
    • Workplace demographics and roles of new graduates in workforce metrics
  • General and unit-specific orientation: The roles of internships, preceptorships, and unit orientation
    • Cultural and social integration
    • Trusting clinical decisions through critical thinking and clinical judgment
    • Early career support
    • Developing skills in organization, prioritization, and delegation to build professional competence and confidence
  • Transitioning into the professional role best practice: a Nurse Residency Program
    • Essential knowledge, skills, and abilities for their new role: Moving beyond technical skills to professionalism

There will also be a live question and answer session following the program.

This webcast promises to be a great resource for nurse managers, assistant nurse managers, nurse leaders, charge nurses, directors of nursing, patient care managers, directors of patient care, directors of staff development, nursing professional development specialists, chief nursing officers, VPs of nursing, VPs of patient care services, and nurse residency coordinators. Sign up now and pay one price for your entire staff!

For more information or to sign up for the webcast, please visit www.hcmarketplace.com.

Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, answers questions about ending nurse-to-nurse hostility

Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, dared to ask the question, how can a profession that is based on caring include such uncaring behaviors? Her powerful research exposes the toxic relationships and bullying behavior that causes nurse burnout and threatens patient safety. Here’s a question and answer session where she offers practical advice to real-life problems.

Q: It’s often easy to point out the shortcomings in others. What do you do for people to help recognize and overcome their own bad behaviors?
A: Peer evaluations are effective, but a critical conversation is the most powerful tool both peers and managers have. I ask, “What do you do well?” “What would you like to do better and how can I help?”

Q: What is the most important thing we as nurses can do to turn around toxic work environments that are deeply rooted in bullying and disrespectful behaviors?
A: SAY WHAT YOU SEE. Your voice is your power. These behaviors will be NORMAL until someone stands up and says, “Hey, this is impacting the patients and morale. This needs to stop.”

Q: Any suggestions on how to handle shift-to-shift complaining and bullying?
A: I know this one is hard. When I was a manager, no amount of teaching or counseling could change the shift-to-shift so I asked the nurses to switch shifts for a week. Then I never heard another word. The “walk in their shoes” experiment also worked for nurses complaining some floors were easier. Next, I worked closely with the charge nurses and gave them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to stop these behaviors when they saw them (that took almost two years).

Q: Have you actually seen the “turnaround” of a bully in the workplace work other than dismissal of that employee? Isn’t the bully in a person part of their personality trait?
A: Great question. Personally, it’s been 50/50 in my experience. And if you are a leader/manager and start drawing the line, there is a high chance of the bully going on FMLA/being injured etc.  It takes a lot of people skills to turn them around because if they are not going to be the bully, then who are they? How do you create an alternative role for this nurse in the unit? Also, don’t think of a bully as an individual problem. It’s the unit’s problem because many nurses have tolerated the behavior for years (even decades).