Nurses are the heart of every healthcare organization. Not only are they passionate about providing expert care, they are also educators, counselors and their patients’ strongest advocates.
While caring for nursing home residents can be rewarding, it is also quite challenging. Working long demanding shifts in a high-stress environment can lead to burnout and high turnover, which can quickly result in sub-optimal care and increased medical errors. In fact, a research report from the University of California San Francisco found that the median turnover rate for nurses at long-term care facilities is 44%, which is significantly higher than the average for the healthcare industry.
Nursing engagement is key to preventing complications and reducing medical errors and mortality rates, according to research by Gallup. Engaged nurses are more responsive to their residents’ needs, more efficient and effective when providing care and less likely to experience burnout or leave their place of employment.
So how can your skilled nursing facility improve nursing engagement? Here are three tips:
1. Encourage and value nursing input
Include and involve nurses throughout improvement initiatives and allow them to be active participants in decision making that impacts the organization, patient care and their nursing role. Nurses will be more engaged if they know their input matters.
2. Ensure accessibility and responsiveness
Nurses need to know they have a committed leadership team behind them. Take steps to make leaders accessible to nurses and responsive to their needs. This builds a trusting relationship, which will drive greater levels of engagement and commitment to your organization.
3. Recognize nursing contributions
Honest and meaningful recognition of a job well done increases loyalty and engagement. Find ways to recognize the many contributions nurses make to their residents and your facility.
Whether done in a public forum or through personal, one-on-one communication, showing appreciation improves nursing morale and instills a sense of pride.
Want to learn more? Discover how ABILITY CAREWATCH can keep your nursing team on the right track with quality initiatives.
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