Often we hear of nurses going into the profession because of a ‘calling’. That or they had an experience growing up, where a nurse touched their life and instantly the career became first choice. If our nursing staff feels so strongly about their chosen career then how come we have articles like the following?
Last month an article published on Fox News Health reported on research relating to nursing pay and a nurses desire to choose the profession of nursing again (or not). The survey found that 44% of the nurses who responded said that they would choose a different profession. In fact, according to the survey, “The vast majority of nurses – 68% of APNs, 78% of RNs and 88% of LPNs/LVNs – said they were dissatisfied with where they worked”.
How frightening! We go into a career with the greatest intentions, only to find once in it, that we are no longer in love with nursing.
As nurse leaders, how can we shift this? How can we support our nursing staff and what can we do to help them enjoy nursing again?
- Allow for Innovation. Let’s face it. The face of nursing is shifting. With many of our boomers getting set to retire and loads of new graduate nurses entering the profession, we are seeing a change in the workforce. Enter front and center- the digital age is upon us. Nurses are using apps to monitor patient data. Charting is done completely online. Patients can access and be involved in their medical records. Millennials approach the workplace in a brand new way. Instead of focusing on the challenges, we can tap into these brand new nurses and learn from them. In a recent post on LinkedIn, three suggestions are offered in how we can leverage this new generation of nursing. To help your nursing staff enjoy their work, we have to allow them to be themselves. Provide them space to do what they love. Encourage creativity and innovative problem solving. And have fun!
- Encourage Reflection. In my books and workshops, I often share how I never actually wanted to become a nurse. Well, after a lot of self-care, introspection and personal growth exercises, I know realize I am in the right spot. I LOVE being a nurse and see so much opportunity in this profession. Help your nursing staff reconnect to the nurse within. Give them opportunities to pause and remember why they chose nursing in the first place. During committee meetings, annual evaluations and professional development courses offered at your hospital work in the self-care piece. When a nurse taps into the reasons behind, their big ‘why’, they reconnect with the profession. And enjoy it!
- Fill in the Gaps. Here’s where being a nurse leader is such a gift. You have a lovely opportunity to provide for your staff. Offer professional development courses. Provide CNE hours at work. If a nurse on your staff is having a difficult time with delegation or leadership, recognize that and share solutions. And going back to tip #1 above, be mindful of the ways people learn and receive information. In the technological landscape we live in, you are now able to do this in new ways. If nurses cannot attend meetings, hold teleconference calls. If your newer nurses embrace social media, create a committee using a LinkedIn group. There are loads of possibilities… we simply have to ask our nurses what they need and fill in those gaps.
What did we miss? I’d love to hear additional suggestions from you in the comments below on how we can help your nursing teams love the profession of nursing again. Thanks for reading!
About the Author: As a keynote speaker, bestselling author and virtual conference host, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. During the National Nurse’s Week online conference, ‘The Art of Nursing‘, Elizabeth supports nurses in achieving professional goals of continued learning and development. Click here to find out more about how The Art of Nursing appreciates and celebrates our profession in a meaningful way.