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Nurse leaders are facing a lot of challenges in the current scenario of healthcare. Here we are focusing on the main five challenges a nurse leader will encounter in their career. Firstly, recruitment and retention’; which is a multifaceted issue and there are so many reasons why we’re not able to recruit and retain nurses. On the recruitment side, I think it’s because there’s a lot of competition. More people are wanting to become nurse practitioners and they are moving out of that bedside role into a provider-type role.
Whereas on the retention side, the new generation of nurses need something different than what the baby boomers wanted. They want to feel appreciated. They want engagement. The boomers they ’lived-to-work, ’ whereas this next generation has a work-to-live mindset. I think a lot of them are struggling with the 12-hour shifts. Over the past several years, I’ve spoken to many of these newer nurses, and as far as the 12-hour shifts go, these nurses want to get home and be with their friends and their families.
But a lot of places only do 12-hour shifts.
Secondly, innovative technology’; the hospitals need to think in a lot of creative and innovative way to ease the pressure from the nurses. For example, there are glucometers that transmit patient information to the electronic health record. Those are time-savers for nurses. But they’re looking at the financial impact and the bottom line more than they’re looking at innovation. The younger group of nurses, they’re more technologically driven.
When we pair’ them with new technology, it’s going to be a benefit for the hospitals.
Thirdly, culturally aware patient care’; We need to pay close attention to people that speak other languages or are from other cultures. I don’t think in nursing we’ve done a good job of that over the years. Many hospitals have a language line, but you miss the human connection. And the human connection is a huge part of caring.
Fourthly, employee engagement’ which focuses on, we are paying attention to recognizing people for their good work. CNOs need to be more visible and connect with that bedside nurse. I think this generation of nurses is going to require that of CNOs. We’re going to have to make sure that we’re personally engaging nurses by asking them to serve on committees and having them get involved in a project that we’re working on instead of their manager or director asking them. I think it will be more meaningful from the CNO, and I think we’d have better participation and engagement; that helps our nurses become more autonomous and feel like they’re part of the bigger team. It may even inspire some of them into nursing leadership.”
Last but not least promoting self-care’; the thing I think we need to emphasize is getting nurses to take care of themselves. When we’re struggling in the personal world, it’s reflected in your professional world. I would to encourage relaxation techniques. For example, a meditation room or somewhere staff could go for time to just reflect, do some deep breathing, and get away from the craziness to give them spiritual time or comfort time, whatever they might need. Many places are starting wellness programs, but wellness isn’t just physical. It’s not just making sure you’re getting the physical activity or that you’re keeping your blood pressure and blood sugar down. We often forget about the psychological piece.
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