How To Create Nurse Friendly Environment In Hospitals

How To Create Nurse Friendly Environment In HospitalsDue to the nursing shortage prevalent in the United States, the quality, timeliness and effectiveness of nursing care is reducing. This necessitates a transformation of the nursing work environment. Hospitals across America are trying to incorporate the government-initiated Nurse-Friendly (NF) Hospital Project to help create a positive work environment for nurses. The Nurse-Friendly project aims to improve hospital work environment to ensure quality patient care and to aid nurse development and satisfaction. In this article, we discuss how you can create a nurse friendly environment in your hospital and improve patient care and outcomes.

Conduct Regular Surveys

With no visible end to the nursing shortage, healthcare establishments need to put in place retention strategies to retain existing nurses. In order to do this, hospitals must have in-depth knowledge of the wants and needs of its nursing staff. Find out what motivates your nurses to stay. Conduct regular surveys; according to the Nurse-Friendly (NF) Hospital Project guidelines, a hospital is nurse-friendly only when at least 50% of survey respondents express satisfaction. Hospitals should conduct surveys every quarter to touch base with how nurses feel about their work environment.

Demonstrate Administrative Support

It’s important for hospital leadership to get involved in nurse satisfaction surveys. The hospital management and administrative staff must make an effort to get to know the nursing staff personally. Management representatives should have lunches with staff members who complete 3 months on the job, to assess if the job meets their expectations.

Implement Retention Programs

Once the hospital finds out what nurses want and how to retain them, they need to come up with creative methods of retaining staff. Provide what it takes to ensure professional development of nurses and a positive working environment. See what you can do to accommodate individual lifestyles; you could help organize better shift times, provide additional leave or assistance and so on.

Conduct exit interviews with nurses who resign and find out the actual reasons behind why nurses leave your hospital. Create a database of your survey findings, exit interview findings, feedback, comments and requests. Refer to this database to come up with effective retention programs.

Provide Advanced Training Opportunities

One of the reasons why nurses quit their jobs is to obtain higher training. If you allow your nursing staff the opportunity to obtain training and certifications while working for you, they’ll be happier. Provide training for Licensed Practical Nurses and Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) to become Registered Nurses. Create opportunities for your Registered Nurses to obtain Bachelor Of Science (BSN) nursing degree.

Provide Personal Support

A nurse’s job can be very stressful. Handling demanding and difficult patients and their families while juggling personal responsibilities can add to the stress. Hospitals must do what they can to support nurses on a personal level. Creative methods such as employing inhouse concierge services to help nurses with personal errands, flexible shift scheduling; day care for children and so on can be employed. By helping a nurse reduce his or her personal obligations, hospitals can help them hone their focus on work. This will help improve patient care and outcomes, as well as work as an excellent staff retention strategy.

Establish Noble Principles To Foster Retention

Nurses want to work in safe workplaces. They also want to work where patient care quality is the highest. Working at a hospital that stands for these principals makes a nurse proud and this works positively to retain the nurse. Putting these principles in place should be the responsibility of the nurse manager. By allowing nurses play an active role in redefining and shaping their own environment, hospitals can ensure a sense of personal pride. The following principles help to foster nursing staff retention.

  • Establish respectful behavior and communication in nursing managers. Nurses expect and respect nurse managers who are oriented towards their team. Nurses appreciate the presence of trust and respect for diversity.
  • Establish a communication-rich culture. Nurses appreciate clear and respectful communication. They open up and demonstrate greater loyalty when nursing managers show openness and trust towards them.
  • Establish a culture of accountability. Nurses want to know what’s expected of them. Clearly define roles and expectations so that there’s no confusion. Make sure that every member of the staff is accountable, irrespective of seniority or qualification. Equal treatment is what will help nurses to feel more loyal to the hospital.
  • Employ adequate number of qualified nurses. Don’t overwork your existing nurses just because there’s a nursing shortage. Find innovative methods to distribute work so that no single nurse feels overloaded. Employ sufficient qualified nurses.
  • Demonstrate ability to provide quality care for patients. Invest in suitable technologies and innovative methods to ensure that patients get the best possible medications, diagnostic facilities and care. Nurses take great pride in working for hospitals that truly care for their patients.
  • Help nurses achieve work and home life balance
  • Demonstrate competent, credible, expert and visible leadership
  • Encourage and support shared decision-making; allow nurses to participate in the system. Let them have their say in both process and organizational decisions
  • Ensure that your nursing staff has control over their own practice
  • Encourage your nurses to participate in professional organizations and associations
  • Support and encourage an information-rich environment
  • Recognize and value your nurses’ contribution to your patients, to the hospital and to your reputation. Reward your nurses for their performance and loyalty.
  • Provide avenues for career mobility and expansion

Reduce Injury Scope

Older nurses leave the nursing profession because of the physical stress they suffer at their workplace. Lifting patients, equipments and carrying things around can cause back and should injuries. Implement patient-lift initiatives to reduce injuries. Make sure your nurses are not physically taxed beyond their limits. Don’t take your nursing staff for granted.

Set Up Nurse-Friendly Hospital Criteria

Establish systems that’ll help address several needs and concerns. The system should take care of nurses’ professional development, patient care concerns, comprehensive nurse orientation and middle-management accountability. Ensure that nurse abuse is not tolerated, whether the abuse is from doctors and other medical staff or from patients and their families.

Ensure respect for your nurses all around. Respect nurse opinion and ensure he or she feels part of a cohesive and collaborative team. These criteria will help you retain nurses and make your hospital nurse-friendly.

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