Between the exodus of nurses leaving their profession, the global pandemic's repercussions (more on-the-job demand with fewer resources and more stress and burnout), and estimates that an additional 500,000 nurses are retiring, the U.S. will soon be short about 1.1 million nurses.
Since nursing is no longer a commodity, what can the industry do differently to prioritize nurses and keep them satisfied in their jobs?
Provide respect and fulfill fundamental needs. Start by identifying four key "cracks" that may exist in your organizational foundation: Safety threats (whether physical or emotional), compromises in care delivery, a lack of time to recover from traumatic experiences, and the problem nurses face when they feel isolated. And if nurses face rude, demeaning, unresponsive, or abusive doctors, they should be able to report this behavior without fear of repercussion. An open-door policy enabling anonymous reporting ensures nursing staff feels safe and lowers error and burnout rates.
Reduce burnout with better patient/staff ratios. Some states' legislation regulates nurse staffing ratios. This approach leads to lower burnout rates and ensures nurses are not too tired and overworked to make their best decisions and positively affect patient care quality.
Provide better pay and resources. It's wise to make investments that will improve nurses' careers, offering leadership development, educational opportunities, and additional training. Further, new graduates may have massive student loan debts. Consider paying nurses higher wages, providing them with free education to advance in their careers, or offering them excellent medical benefits or bonuses, if they are within your budget.
Provide flexible work hours and locations. With work flexibility, nurses feel more valued and less stressed. A tool like the ShiftMed mobile app lets healthcare professionals take a quiz, provide their credentials, and claim shifts in locations that work for them.
Offering nurses an improved work environment with greater flexibility will reduce burnout and lead to happier nurses. ShiftMed provides a mobile app for healthcare professionals that allows them to claim shifts that work for them and their schedules. ShiftMed also enables hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to reach their required staffing levels. Apply today to see how to improve your work-life balance.