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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…

What’s the best way to welcome new graduate nurses to the unit?

This week on, we asked what’s the best way to welcome new graduate nurses to your unit?

Fifty-two percent of respondents say the best way to welcome new graduate nurses is for them to have lunch with their new colleagues. This gives new nurses a chance to get to know their colleagues in a more personal way and helps them start to feel part of the team.

Twenty-nine percent said they like to hold a staff meeting and introduce everyone by name, 10% like to take new graduates off the unit for a one-on-one lunch with their manager, and 10% post information on the unit’s bulletin boards about the new staff nurse’s likes and dislikes, family, and other personal tidbits so everyone can get to know him or her.

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]

Study looks at the 2009 economy in nursing

A recent benchmarking report posted on the Strategies for Nurse Managers Web site surveyed 179 nursing professionals in the healthcare industry regarding the effects of the 2009 economy. The results illustrate how the tumultuous 2009 economy had varying effects on facilities of all sizes in acute care, critical access, long-term care, ambulatory, home health, and rehabilitation settings.

Although the data reported do not dissect the particulars at any one institution or among any one age group of nurses, they provide a comprehensive look at the issue among a variety of facilities. The data also provides a glimpse into how each facility dealt with the economic downturn and where they stand in 2010.

The results show most facilities were affected in some way by the economy, as 60% reported cutting back on travel expenses along with renegotiating supplies in 2009. Facilities also reported individual ways specific units helped their facilities cut back on spending—for example, 78% of the respondents said overtime was reduced. [more]

Let your voice be heard on the future of nursing

The Initiative on the Future of Nursing was launched at the beginning of 2009 by the Institute of Medicine, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The committee’s aim is to produce a report in 2010 about how nursing can evolve to fit the ever-changing healthcare system, and they are asking nurses from around the country to voice their opinions on the future of nursing.

Over the next few months, the committee will examine, debate, and review evidence submitted from around the country in an effort to develop a blueprint for change. The nursing community is being asked to submit innovations/models and barriers/opportunities for the committee to review.

To submit suggestions and comments to the committee, visit or e-mail

Officially, the committee will review the following areas:

  • Reconceptualizing the role of nurses
  • Expanding nursing faculty, increasing the capacity of nursing schools, and redesigning nursing education
  • Care delivery and health professional education
  • Attracting and retaining well-prepared nurses [more]

Mandatory H1N1 flu vaccination causes controversy

The first doses of the H1N1 vaccination have officially arrived in the United States and a nurse was one of the first to receive the vaccine. Holly Smith is a pediatric nurse at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center, in Memphis, TN, and mother of two children. Smith reported that she chose to be vaccinated for the sake of her kids, as well as for the children she works with.

Le Bonheur has seen numerous cases of H1N1 since late August and received 100 doses of nasal spray vaccine. The vaccines were given to healthcare workers in an outdoor tent set up to treat children with flu symptoms and keep them separate from other patients.

Public health authorities in 21 other states and four large cities, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, have been shipped the swine flu vaccination, roughly totaling 600,000 doses.

As vaccines are shipped around the country, many hospitals, university health systems, and even some states are requiring that all healthcare workers receive the H1N1 flu vaccine, or either spend the flu season wearing a mask or risk losing their job.


Budget-friendly gifts and retention gems

Tighter spending may be in your hospital budget’s forecast with the state of the economy, but recognizing and rewarding staff shouldn’t take the backseat. Creating and environment where nurses feel appreciated, valued, and that they are making a positive affect on patient care is key to improving retention. And, there are several low-cost gifts for any occasion to help you celebrate your nurses’ success, thank them for a job well done, or just let them know you’re thinking about them. [more]

Make it fun … and improve your environment!

This is a practical idea that can easily be implemented in any unit:

Who is your one staff member who LOVES taking pictures (it seems every unit has at least one!). Ask him or her to take candid digital shots of staff (but be careful to avoid patient faces). Print photos that are large enough to be seen from a distancea mix of 8×10 and 11×14 works well. Purchase an assortment of frames that complement each other. Check craft and hobby stores, larger chain stores, or perhaps you can ask your corporate buyer to suggest an approved vendor.

Hang the pictures in a collage design in your departmentNOT in the staff break room. The idea is to choose a wall easily seen. You want your patients and visitors to know this is a great place to work. You want potential employees to know your department takes pride in recognizing each other. And you want your staff to feel celebrated and appreciated.

Periodically rotate the photos so newer staff members have as much “exposure” as the old timers!

What are some other ways to celebrate and appreciate staff?

And lastly, here is an interesting thought to ponder:
“Three people were working at a construction site. All were doing the very same job, but when each was asked, “What is your job?,” their answers varied. “Breaking rocks,” the first one said. “Earning my living,” said the second one. The third person said, “I’m helping to build a cathedral.”

(Peter Schultz, former CEO, Porsche; as cited in 1001 Ways To take Initiative At Work).

Informal reward ideas!

giraffe_iiEstablish an informal reward that can be passed along. For example, in my department we have a STICKING YOUR NECK OUT AWARD. Every other month or so, someone is given a toy giraffe for going beyond their usual job duties. You can implement this and give a new giraffe each time, or have the recipient choose their successor and pass it along.

To avoid becoming a popularity contest, set some ground rules. For example, no one can win more than twice/year.

Be creative with this ~ A model brain could represent a QUICK THINKING AWARD; a pouch of toy gold coins can indicate YOU’RE SUCH A TREASURE; play money could represent YOUR ACTIONS ARE WORTH A MILLION or even be used to symbolize meeting departmental budget goals.

Please feel free to share some of your own ideas!

“I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought to be distilled into actions, which bring results.”
Florence Nightingale

“Never settle for average; its as close to the bottom as it is to the top.”