By Carol Boston-Fleischhauer, Chief Nursing Officer and Managing Director
At over 3 million and counting, registered nurses represent the largest and most trusted workforce in health care. Our frontline nurses carry great responsibility and face myriad challenges in caring for patients 24/7: increasingly complex patient care needs; changing consumer expectations regarding service; a never ending list of outcomes to achieve; and the overall demand to provide high quality, safe care amidst incredible resource constraints in collaboration with other care team members. Each year, organizations take time to recognize those challenges and celebrate the unique role and contributions of nurses and nursing during Nurses Week.
But this year, hospitals and other organizations may want to append their celebration tactics, and work to address the alarming levels of stress being reported amongst all health care workers, including nurses. Research shows over 60% of health care workers feel burned out at some point in their careers, and registered nurses are no exception. And the downstream effects can be significant.
How hospitals can recognize and celebrate the contribution of nurses
Nurses Week festivities typically include various types of receptions, programs, ceremonies, gifts and special service offerings (even spa treatments!), all of which engender a legitimate sense of appreciation and sincere goodwill. But after the Nurses Week events have been hosted, various awards have been received, and tokens of appreciation have been distributed, the ultimate form of leader appreciation for nurses and nursing is to rebuild the foundation for a resilient workforce.
There are several ways hospitals can begin to make progress on that front, but these four actions should be top-of-mind:
- Confront and address workplace violence and point of care safety threats;
- Manage any perceived compromises in care delivery;
- Provide emotional support for staff; and
- Reverse professional isolation.
The Nurse Executive Center, its staff, and faculty are poised to assist leadership teams with this vital imperative. Our current research on Rebuilding a Foundation for a Resilient Workforce contains numerous best practices and strategies that have been implemented by members with incredible results, all geared toward ensuring that our nursing workforce is supported both physically and emotionally. Let's really make a difference here. Our nurses appreciate organizational recognition, but our nurses also need this support, now more than ever before.
New: The 4 foundational cracks that are undermining your nurses’ resilience
Check out our infographic to learn which four cracks in the care environment leaders must repair to rebuild the foundation for a resilient workforce.