The nursing shortage continues to exist in the United States and places a great deal of burden on front-line nurses and their workplaces. 2023 should set the tone for making a difference where it matters the most: the recruitment and more importantly, the retention of good nurses.
Survey findings from the 2022 Nurse Salary Research report found that 29% of 2,516 nurses wanted to opt out of the nursing profession altogether. With all-time high vacancy rates, there is the need to lower turnover rate among the nursing community.
Addressing Burnout Among Nurses Should be a Top Priority
According to a recent study, burnout is being reported by many nurses and is mostly fueled by longer working hours, having little support and operating in a high-stress setting. The well-being of nurses needs to come first and should be prioritized accordingly by all individuals who devote their time and energy to improved patient outcomes.
Robyn Begley, CEO of the American Organization of Nursing Leadership, has watched as more and more burned-out nurses leave organizations over wanting a more balanced work-life. The emotional health of nurses and their overall well-being is clearly very important and remains a top challenge nurse leaders are confronted with.
“Not feeling listened to or supported at work ranks right up there with insufficient staffing and insufficient pay among the reasons nurses list for leaving,” said Begley.
Retention of nurses cannot be stressed enough in order to deal with such shortcomings. According to Lusine Poghosyan, Professor of Nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing, the answer lies in having a work environment that emphasizes the well-being of nurses.
What types of communication tools can reduce burnout? Hucu.ai lowers burnout rates among healthcare workers because it enables real-time team communication. This opens a way for them to talk to each other, about work, patient concerns or even if they are struggling when it comes to their own health.
Hucu.ai has lowered anxiety levels among healthcare providers.
Ensuring New Nurses Feel Welcomed by the Team
Hospitals continue struggling with the recruitment of nurses. The applicant pool has continued to shrink over the past couple of years. “In 2023, we will need to find new and better ways to onboard new-to-practice emergency nurses,” said Jennifer Schmitz, the President of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA).
What most new nurses search for is a meaningful relationship with their work colleagues and a support system backed by the organization’s leadership. The nursing shortage has its complications but the solution remains relatively simple.
“If you create an environment where nurses feel valued and supported, they will stay,” said Lisa A. Wolf, Director of Emergency Nursing Research for the ENA.
The big question thus remains: What tools can help new nurses feel more comfortable around their peers?
Hucu.ai holds the potential to achieve this among the nursing community! Everyday communication is what drives us, because communication makes it possible for all of us to know more about each other. At the workplace, this can be a huge plus.
Hucu.ai allows leaders to monitor the activities of new hires, making it possible to appreciate great work and give constructive feedback to the nurse so that they they may improve on their work performance. This does lead to better work outcomes. Perhaps, what matters more is the communication that goes on between them which effectively builds the relationship between the supervisor and the new hire!
Investing in Nursing Programs
Various states across the United States have been dealt a serious blow in terms of nursing shortages. According to a study, the demand for registered nurses will reach an all time high, around 3.6 million by the year 2030.
This shortage is likely to grow worse, as data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that registered nurses in several age categories have drastically declined between May 2020 and May 2021.
Stakeholders have taken up several approaches to address nursing shortages, in terms of their recruitment as well as training. For example, the nursing schools in Minnesota have announced a coalition, with the aim to attract more students and expand on equity in the workplace. With faculty shortages impacting enrollment at nursing schools, the University of Hawaii has plans to invest $ 1.75 million in state funds, in order to establish more than three dozen new nursing instructor positions. Their aim is to double the number of nursing students that enroll.
If investment continues in nursing programs, along with efforts directed towards retention incentives, the healthcare system will be able to ward off challenges caused by the nursing shortage.
Policy Support for Nursing Education
Covid-19 made the existing shortage of registered nurses worse, making it all the more necessary for policymakers to make greater investments in higher education. The higher education system can make a difference if it can send out enough nursing graduates to meet the rising demands of the healthcare system. In other words, this will play an important role in terms of creating a strong nursing workforce.
The U.S government should direct its efforts towards investing in the nursing faculty, providing universities with the resources of having a greater number of students both enroll and graduate.
Greater responsibility now falls on the shoulders of higher education systems. They need to train a greater number of nurses in order to avert the existing crisis of nurse shortages. Several factors hinder higher education systems in producing higher levels of nursing graduates. Some of which are fewer nurse educators which includes university faculty members, insufficient placements for student nurses as well inadequate campus facilities and equipment.
According to researchers, shortages in nursing educators remain a root cause of nursing shortages to this day.
Focusing on Mental Health
Despite high levels of anxiety and exhaustion among healthcare workers, most of them do not reach out for any mental health support. Doctors and nurses do not have an easy job, oftentimes struggling with depression. Healthcare workers devote so much time tending to the needs of others, that they neglect their own health at times.
This needs to change, and healthcare workers should tend to their mental health as well. Communication channels hold the potential for positive behavioral change.
With Hucu.ai, channel-based communication enables providers to interact and share details of their work with each other, that shares the burden healthcare operations place on the minds of all providers. Plus, informal and personal communication can happen in real-time, building the human relationships that make workplaces enjoyable.
What exacerbates feelings of burnout is when employees feel they are being neglected or are not receiving enough support. This can escalate if not addressed in a timely fashion, which will affect patient outcomes.
This is precisely where the leadership needs to step in and show their support for all of their staff members.
Healthcare leaders can make support easier by incorporating easy to use, supportive technology into their workspaces.
This will make it possible for team leaders to show their team that they not only care for them but that they stand with them in case of any difficulties.
Hucu.ai makes it possible for leaders of organizations to show their staff that they care for them, whether it is leaving them a message to ask them how their day was or if they need assistance of any sort.
Promoting Healthy Practices at Every Level of the Organization
Healthy practices should be introduced among staff members through different workplace initiatives. Some companies have taken to launching “refresh days”, in order to make sure their employees have time to recharge themselves.
For remote workers, initiatives such as “no camera days” have been implemented in order to limit their screen time and “no-meeting days” to have greater focus on work.
Internal communications give greater publicity to such initiatives and serve as a constant reminder to all healthcare workers of how important it is for them to tend to their personal wellness and what support the organization is offering.